This is my first post on here, and these were taken with a cell camera, but I found this site interesting. This is a former control site for a Nike Missile Base that was part of a defense ring around a major city during the Cold War. The location where the missiles were stored/lauched in a few miles away and in use. Eventually this was used as a State National Guard Unit until abandoned around 1996. The night photos are of 2nd base in this region which is partially used
Visited back in November with Mookster after seeing the Typhoo Factory. Another one ticked off the list which has been kicking about for years. I really enjoyed this one; though quite bare and largely sealed, it had a lot of nice things to see down there. The air was pretty bad though in places!
History - Borrowed!
The ‘Shadow Factory Tunnels’ are what remain of Lord Austin’s secret plans that were created to increase the force of the British military against the German military aggression in the arms race that led up to the start of the Second World War.
Munitions workers produced Merlin engines to power Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes which were used to regain control of the British skies during the 1940 Battle of Britain.
The Shadow Scheme involved two stages; the building of nine new factories and the extension of existing factories.
This extension included here; the Longbridge plant. Australian-born industrialist and Conservative MP, Lord Austin, whom founded Austin Motors; had already contributed to the war effort during the First World War, turning his factories to munitions and engine production.
The tunnels which ran beneath Austin Rovers Longbridge plant are mostly all that is left of the plant; a large housing development increases in size upon the former footprint. These tunnels ensured that production of the engines and munitions could continue underground in relative safety.
After WWII; the factory returned to producing automobiles and the tunnels were soon abandoned. By the late 60s, the plant was the second largest car plant in the world.
After the collapse of MG Rover, the site saw its redevelopment. Famously; a mini was kept down here after workers damaged it in the 70s and it was hidden from bosses. The mini is now in a museum.
This is a very small portion of the tunnels. Lots is bricked up
In classic Harry style; this forms part of another explore backlog! I visited here in November 2018 with Mookster. It formed part of a little Midland Roadtrip we did that day.
We all know what to expect with this place; its pretty pillaged now, access was a doddle and it was full of other explorers; something which seems to be a much more frequent occurrence these days!
We met some really nice people here and had a relaxed half hour or so before moving to the next site.
The Typhoo Tea Factory, founded by John Summer in 1903 and was known a local landmark in Birmingham.
Tea production began here in the 30's; and survived bombing by the Luftwaffe in WW2. in 1968; Typhoo merged with Schweppes and with Cadbury the following year, forming Cadbury-Schweppes.
The factory eventually closed in 1978 as a tea making facility; but remained open as a clothes warehouse until around 2008.
The grounds, which are currently being used as a 148-space pay and display car park (very handy for exploring!), have been granted planning permission as part of a £14 million project to turn the site into a brand new university campus for the Birmingham City University.
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