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WildBoyz

UK Megatron, Sheffield - June and July 2015

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History

“Deep underneath Sheffield City Centre – below Park Hill, the train station and Ponds Forge – three rivers meet in a Victorian-engineered subterranean cathedral, built to protect the city from devastating floodsâ€.

Megatron, as most people now know is a large underground storm drain, which was constructed in the mid-1800s. The land on which Sheffield Midland Station was built in 1870, alongside various cutlers and silversmiths, was originally marshy and insalubrious, owing to the Porter Brook and the River Sheaf which run through that part of the city, and for this reason it was prone to regular flooding. To create solid foundations both rivers were partially covered; these drains would then frequently flood after heavy rains, protecting the rest of the growing industrial city of Sheffield. The manipulation of the rivers also served to benefit various mills and steel factories which required large quantities of water to function. The tunnel system remained a hidden secret for many years; a mysterious rumour amongst the general public since only a few Yorkshire Water engineers ever went down there. In an effort to keep the rest of society out of the system the rumour was reportedly extended, to convince everyone that full respiratory equipment was required if anyone ever desired to enter into the depths.

Our Version of Events

We first entered Megatron many years ago, but since we had neither the camera equipment, nor the skills to use any such gear in complete darkness, we were only able to take a couple of shots of the entrances and open air sections of the system with a cheap little compact camera. We revisited a couple of times as we attempted to explore all of Sheffield’s underground wonders, and after that we simply forgot all about them up until now. This report is made up of two visits because, as I’ve discovered, light painting well takes a reasonable amount of time and patience.

The first trip began on an exceptionally sunny day, after myself and ACID-REFLUX has arranged an afternoon in Megatron. We started some distance away from the main section, but it was good to see some of the older brickwork that is located over that way, and we stayed down there for several hours or so. A special shout to ACID is necessary here, since I gained many good tips around how to take shots in absolute darkness. Without that I imagine my shots would be far less detailed than they’ve turned out.

We arranged a second trip some weeks later, and myself, ACID-REFULX and Ford Mayhem all revisited one evening after work. Since Sheffield had experienced some rain earlier that week the water was slightly deeper than it had been on our previous visit, but it was certainly not enough to prevent us from returning. The three of us plodded along in the darkness, with waders squeaking and someone’s swimming shorts rustling, right up to the other end where the system meets the River Don. This end section was filled with bats, and it was fascinating to see them nesting in parts of the brickwork and sweeping the surface of the water inside the tunnel. Soon after that, we resurfaced and, after a quick bite to eat, quickly made plans to explore one of the many cranes that have been erected in Sheffield City Centre. Experiencing Sheffield from all angles in one day was a good end to the evening.

Explored with Ford Mayhem and ACID-REFLUX.

And So it Begins...

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The Entrance

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The First Section

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Open-air Section

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The Second Section

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The Batcave and the 'Cathedral'

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The Return Journey

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Wow, cracking mate. Looks such good fun down there :thumb Some of those parts look at lot like The Dark Arches under Leeds, i wonder if they had the same architect? really must get myself down there at some point - thanks for sharing :grin:

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Wow, cracking mate. Looks such good fun down there :thumb Some of those parts look at lot like The Dark Arches under Leeds, i wonder if they had the same architect? really must get myself down there at some point - thanks for sharing :grin:

It's awesome man. Yeah, some of the sections do look pretty similar. Leeds is close, so maybe?

:thumb Thanks for looking.

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I think Megatron has got to be a favorite with many as so with so many sections looking so different from each other.

Very well captured and good to see :thumb

Yeah. Done this one a few times, but I've never been happy enough with the photos to post. It's a really nice underground section.

Edited by WildBoyz

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This is a fantastic set. Interesting place and good lighting. Like it a lot!

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