Verne High Angle Battery & Forbidden City (Portland Part 1)

December 6, 2013 | Posted in 1892, Anti-Aircraft Battery, cctv, coastal defences, D-Day, east weare, forbidden city, harbour, nubiles, pissed, portland, Quarry, RML Guns, road trip, Royal Navy, sea defences, verne, victorian forts, vomit | By

Gotta love agoodroadtrip and this certainly fell into that category. Already having not slept for 24 hours I collect Winch at 03:00am driving through a town full of pissedup18 yearoldnubiles sprawled across the streets in their own piss and vomit on the way before hitting the motorways for a 4 hour non stop blast to the South Coast and the Isle Of Portland where we hit one place after another before a 4 hour return journey eventually getting home at 23:30 on the following day.Winch’s estimations of ‘loads of holiday traffic’ proved unfounded and we rocked up at some stupid time of the morning when only the gulls were awake. He managed to catch someZZZ’s but I couldn’t so went for a mooch around Verne High Angle Battery.For those that don’t know its a derelict fort built in 1892 as part of our coastal defences. Originally it had six gun pits for 9″ RML guns (Mk VI high-angle muzzle loading gun) set at 70 degree angles but not long after two more pits were built. The guns could spin through 360 degrees and the shells were stored in two tunnel magazines fed by rail.

During WW2 it was used as an Anti-Aircraft Battery and to store ammo in preparation for D-Day. It’s very tucked away and easily missed being down in the base of an old Portland Stone quarry and at stupid O’Clock in the morning was nice and chilled.

I’ll be brutally honest though and say it didn’t really do it for me, as historically significant as it is and it being the best preserved Battery of its type in the UK I just can’t get excited about this sort of stuff so feel free to call me a neophyte or even a heathen…

But I was there, had nothing else to do and a camera so please enjoy some pix. If you want to read about this place in more detail (and with far more enthusiasm than me) take a look at the excellent work by David Moore at Victorian Forts  and in particular the following PDF: http://victorianforts.co.uk/pdf/datasheets/verneha.pdf

Later on we fought through thick undergrowth and comedy pallisade squeezes, past the many rumoured (non-existant) ‘CCTV cameras’ reported by some paranoid explorers we came across, to visit the curiously named Forbidden City AKA East Weare Battery.

It’s not Forbidden and its not a City, both of which set you up for a serious anticlimax.

East Weare Battery to use it’s correct name is another Coastal Battery built between 1862 and 1869 on the west of Portland Harbour. Unlike Verne High Angle Battery this one is virtually at sea level at the base of the Verne cliffs. It was designed with six batteries (A-F) mounting an intended total of 27 guns which were a mixture of 9 and 10 inch Breach Loaders. Amongst the battery’s are a mixture of other buildings – Detention Barracks, Gunners House, Artillery Stores, a redoubt, Battery Observation Post, Lamp Room etc. In 1915 the disused Battery D was handed over to the Navy for explosives storage in the magazine and much later during WW2 some of the gun pits were roofed over. In recent times both A and B Battery were used for Fire Training by the Navy and as a result are very damaged.

As previously stated, for more detailed info please checkout: http://www.victorianforts.co.uk/pdf/datasheets/eastweare.pdf

More from our Portland Road Trip coming soon…

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Water Station D200 (self bust)

March 10, 2012 | Posted in cctv, Industrial, Reservoir, water tower | By

I’m not sure what I’ve done to upset the cosmic balance in my world but the tides of karma have washed up nothing but trouble for several months now….so far 2012 sucks 🙂
My tripod is still broken (nowatVelbon HQ getting repaired) but we thought we would take a look at a bunch of stuff the other week we had been meaning to do for some time…bunkers, storm drains, culverts, an underground reservoir and a couple of water towers.First on the list was thederpresi but it was soon obvious that the site was very much live after being met with ass ripping8ft palisade and security camera’s…never mind, we cracked on regardless. Sadly the10ft deep reservoir had over5ft of water in both sides and someone was definitely ‘at home’ so to speak. Shame really as it was quite a big boy and would have made for some nice shots…time to move on.The Water Tower and Pumping Station were similar in that they looked derp from a distance but the humming of pumps and scattering of CCTV said otherwise. We setup anyway and started shooting, the light was pretty lame and I was packing a shagged tripod but we got on with it, avoiding the camera’s and generally trying not to get pinged. Out of nowhere a white van came speeding towards us, we must have been spotted somehow? It parked right on top of our hiding place and just sat there, there was no way we could have gotten out without being seen as a climb up a very steep bank was the only exit and this would have out us right on the radar and the vehicle could have easily cut us off before we could climb the palisade. There wasn’t really any options as we had lots of other places to go that day and I didn’t fancy sitting there until nightfall just to extract quietly and if we sat there any longer another van would soon be along and we would be proper busted so we went for the unconventional option….take the ‘fight’ to them rather than sit there like mugs.

We strode out of our hiding place and walked straight towards the waiting van, then in an instant I realised something was not right, the driver was sat with his head down, not looking at us (or anything else for that matter), shit, no turning back now, we were in open ground and committed so carried on. At the last second the driver looked up shocked and said “Where the hell did you come from?”
I knew in an instant he wasn’t secca so it was blag time…fast…

“Er, well, I’ll be straight with you mate, we came over the fence cos we like photographing derp stuff, especially water towers, I’ll tell you what, we’ll just vanish and you pretend you never saw us yeah?”
“No mate this isn’t derelict you’re on **** property and if security catch you there’ll be all sorts of bother so yeah, you best disappear (he said, smiling).Although we had effectively busted ourselves for no reason he was cool so we got chatting about some operational details regarding the site before we GTFO and moved onto other stuff on the day’s list.
Not as many shots as I’ve had liked from here but then we did get rudely interrupted 😉

 

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Explorers Not Allowed…

December 7, 2011 | Posted in banned, cctv, explorer, humour, nanny state, signs, warning | By

I couldn’t resist posting this, it appeals to my stupid sense of humour…

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