Even More Magic…

July 2, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

This a continuation of THIS POST and THIS POST and there will probably be one last post with the remaining pix to follow…

Upper Level: Female WCs

 

Upper Level: Female WCs

 

Decontamination

 

Hatch from Personnel Equipment Lobby into Small Equipment Decontamination.

Small Equipment Decontamination

Personnel Main Entrance

Overpressure/Blast Valves

Overpressure Valve detail

Personnel Main Entrance

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More Magic

June 26, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

Three years ago I said I would post up some more pix of this place so here’s Part 1 of maybe a 3 part set of shots (depends how many I decide to use).

Apart from some damp coming in here and there this place is more or less good to go, although you wouldn’t want to pay the generator bill. As previously mentioned it cost $39 million to build and was only in use for a matter of months, ever since then nobody has figured out what to do with it.

When you look at the amount of work that went into it it’s incredible. Take the roof slab for example, there’s 1500mm of reinforced concrete covered with 2000mm of earth, on top of this is a 1050mm Burster Slab followed by another 750mm of earth. On with the pix…

 

Clean Plant Room

 

Lower level Front escape shaft hatchway

Lower level: (Room 4) ComSec Maintenence with door to the Frame Room behind

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More Lost and Found – RGHQ 9.2

March 11, 2014 | Posted in 4Sevens, arches, Bunker, Civil Defence, laser, MoD, Nuclear, Quark RGB, secret bunker, Shadow Factory, Underground, vent shaft | By

Got stuff spread around a bit at the moment due to ‘storage issues’ so often forget I have squirreled things away on various portable hard drives…found these three from early 2013 on yet another visit to Drakelow RGHQ 9.2

We’d seen all there was to see so spent time pissing about with a Quark RGB and one of those shitty cheap Chinese Green Lasers, don’t think it looks that great but here it is anyway, along with an ok Roadway shot that made itself to a calendar page this year…

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Bury Internalz

August 2, 2012 | Posted in airfield, Avionics, Bunker, Cold War, DSLR, EOS, F-111, HAAS, Lenser, Long Exposure, Nuclear, RAF, secret bunker, Spy plane, Strategic Air Command, USAAF, WW2 | By

Carrying on with the Mil Derp Cold War vibe from earlier posts…..enjoy

Bulk Fuel Storage (WW2)
Transmitter Building
Briefing Room (Badly lightpainted…)
Flora & Fauna 🙂

Building 25 – Decontamination Area

More rush lightpainting (soz about passing headtorches…)

Better this time…(shot in total darkness)

Building 25 Hard Area

Parachute Store (Building 51)

 

Photographic Processing and Interpretation Facility (Building 69)

 

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Magician in the Mountain

November 14, 2011 | Posted in 17th Reconnaissance Wing, Alconbury, Area 51, Avionics, Building 210, Bunker, Cold War, Lockheed, Magic Mountain, Nuclear, Skunkworks, Spy plane, USAAF Station 102 | By

Ok, long overdue, some full on Cold War action for you…

In the 1950’s Skunkworks (Lockheed Advanced Development Projects) created a single engined, very high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft to be used in the Cold War to help determine Soviet capabilities and intentions. Elements of previous Lockheed designs such as the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter were incorporated to build what became the Lockheed U-2 Spy Plane (and later the TR-1). The first live flight was in August 1955 at Area 51 in Nevada and soon a variety of intelligences packages were developed for use with the plane that could be switched around depending on the mission (Interchangeable nose sections were fitted with large format cameras, radar and other cutting edge surveillance equipment). They flew so high that the pilot had to wear a space suit and breath bottled oxygen.

When the USAAF 17th Reconnaissance Wing was activated the 95th Reconnaissance Squadron was formed at RAF Alconbury bringing with them a fleet of TR-1 Spy planes. Building 210 was the Avionics and Photography Interpretation Centre for the TR-1/U2 Spy plane taking two years to build at a cost of $39 million and was later given the nickname Magic Mountain. The building was linked to various other US bases and also to the Strategic Air Command in Omaha, Nebraska.

Inside the stainless steel lined entrance corridor are a series of large rooms with raised access flooring for computer cabling. Building 210 has its own power plant, closed air conditioning, decontamination chambers, water supply and sewage systems. A Positive Air Pressure system was used to prevent any fallout or poisonous gas getting inside the facility. The bunker is on two floors and built of steel and reinforced concrete, sitting on a bed of gravel and giant ‘spring coils’ allowing the structure to shift during an attack and absorbing the impact. Allegedly it could withstand a direct hit from a nuclear bomb.

The political situation changed in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall and within six months of opening Magic Mountain was obsolete. By July 1991 the USAAF 17th Reconnaissance Wing was deactivated and by 1993 the entire base was handed back to the MoD.

On this visit I could not gain access to the subterranean bunker itself so you will have to make do with the few photo’s I could get, I will however be going back so watch this space…

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This is for when the radio is broken..

October 27, 2011 | Posted in Bunker, Nuclear, Random | By

This is for when the radio is broken and crackles like uranium orchids
This is for when the föhn-wind rattles the telegraph wires like a handful of bones
This is for when dream ambulances skitter through the streets at midnight
This is for when you get caught in a sleep-riot and the sky is out of order
This is for when your sex is full of voodoo
This is for when your clothes are imaginary
This is for when your flesh creeps and never comes back.

Things are quiet here, not trapped and dead under a roof collapse deep in a mine, just not much exploring going on. There has however been lots of research, chasing down leads and lifting lids so to speak so hopefully there’ll be something of interest for you soon…
In the meantime here’s some random stuff found laying round on one of the hard disks that I don’t think has seen the light of day.

P.S Hi to the readers in far flung places like Latvia, Russia, Iran, Australia, Canada and the USA….thanks for reading !!

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Watford ROC Group HQ No.5

June 24, 2011 | Posted in Bunker, Nuclear, ROC, Royal Observer Corp, Royal Observer Corps, Watford | By

Finally and as promised some Cold War content for you…Watford ROC Group HQ opened on 18th November 1961, finished operationally in 1968 and closed in 1973 before being sold in 1974. These days the site is owned by the Park Veterinary Centrewho’s surgery and offices are sited in theWW2 ROC buildings on the main road and use the bunker at the rear of the site for storage.Many original items have been stripped over the years but a vast amount of original features are still intact so it was well worth a visit.

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Stewarts & Lloyds ARP Control Centre – Corby

April 1, 2011 | Posted in ARP, British Steel, Bunker, Civil Defence, Cobalt 60, Corby, corus, facebook, isotope, Nuclear, PDRM82, PLUTO, radiation, secret bunker, Steelworks, stewarts lloyds, tata steel, underground hospital, WW2, x-ray | By

First of all apologies for some of the photo’s, some of these are among the worst I have ever taken. If you read the report you will see why I can’t go back and retake them, this reason also justifies their use here.
Plenty of people visit this site, write inaccurate reports and often wrongly referred to it as a ‘Secret’ Nuclear Bunker, the reality is much more boring than that and confusion also arises due to its many uses over the last 60 years.I thought I would make an attempt to set the record straight and dig up some history of this brilliant site which the local chav scum have sadly slowly trashed in recent years.
Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd moved to Corby, Northamptonshire in November 1932, enabling them to make use of the local iron ore to feed their blast furnaces and Bessemer steel converters. The new construction was carried out to a very tight timetable, from the clearing of the site in 1933 the first of the Corby blast furnaces was lit in May the following year. This was followed by coke from the new coke ovens the following month and the ore preparation and sinter plants in September. No.2 blast furnace was lit in November and the first steel came from the Bessemer converters on 27th December. The last of the originally planned blast furnaces (No.3) was lit in October 1935. Following a rebuild to increase capacity of No.2 furnace Corby works became the third cheapest pig iron producing plant in the world.
After the outbreak of World War II, much of the output was war-related. Possibly the biggest contribution of the works to the war effort was PLUTO, the Pipe Line Under The Ocean, a pipeline built, following the D-Day landings to supply fuel for the invading forces. Almost 1,000 miles of steel tubes went into the project.
Incidentally, and creeping Off Topic, they built and named a Pub in Corby called The Pluto as a tribute, it became yet another violent drinking establishment and was eventually demolished 🙂
Another large Stewarts & Lloyds contribution was the 15,000 miles of tube, used for the construction of beach defences, and which was covered with barbed wire, and other, more dangerous obstructions, known as “Wallace Swords”. A total of over 275,000 miles (about 2,5 million tons) of tube were produced for war-related work during the 1939-45 period.
During World War 2 the Corby steel works were expected to be a major target for German bombers but in reality there were only a few bombs dropped by solitary planes and there were no reported casualties. This may be because the whole area was blanketed in huge dense black, low lying clouds created artificially by the intentional burning of oil and latex to hide the glowing Bessemer converter furnaces at the steel works from German bomber crews. There are also some fairly reliable reports that a proper QF Decoy site may have existed at Geddington Chase to protect the Works.
In the early 1940’s as a result of this very real threat the Air Raid Precautions (ARP) constructed an underground Control Centre for the workforce of Stewarts & Lloyds and it was used until the end of the war as well as housing the Stewarts & Lloyds ARP ambulance. The Control Centre comprised of two entrances in case of bomb damage, a central turntable to rotate the ambulance and send it out via the opposite entrance, 4 chemical toilets, a Plotting Room and Signals Room (with interconnecting message hatches), Messengers Room, Telephone Exchange linked to Radio Room, Control Room, Generator Room and a Ventilation Plant.
It shut in 1944 but re-opened in 1951 as a Civil Defence Headquarters for Stewarts & Lloyds and also as Sub Divisional Control for Northamptonshire Civil Defence (there are still some laminated door panels for this laying around the site to this day – see pix below). Also during this time it acted as one of many First Aid Posts across the Steelworks site and still had an ambulance garaged there. My Father In Law who used to work for Stewarts & Lloyds ‘thinks’ he remembers going in there for treatment on a number of occasions and it might be stories like this that led to inaccurate rumours of it being an underground hospital propagating.
When the Civil Defence Scheme was wound down in the late 60’s the site was used for Stewarts & Lloyds Research & Development and almost everything remaining in the site today relates to this, apart from the odd piece of telecoms and switching equipment. A large amount of radiography equipment can be found and was used to X-ray iron castings and steel fabrication, the floors are still littered with tube samples and castings. In the 1958 edition of Corby Works (published by Stewarts & Lloyds) there is a chapter on The Department of Research and Technical Development where it says ‘Use is made of the most modern equipment, as this becomes available, and in particular, includes modern spectrographs, equipment for vacuum fusion analysis of gases in steel, equipment for high frequency induction melting under controlled conditions of atmosphere and pressure, apparatus for the identification of compounds, space lattice measurements, and internal stress determination by X-ray crystallography, gamma ray testing of welds using new isotopes from Harwell, and the latest designs of creep testing equipment working under temperature controlled conditions’. Add to this Jib Testing and Weld Testing for the many Ransomes & Rapier Walking Draglines that worked in the various Ironstone Quarries in Corby.
The original main entrance was destroyed in 1975 when the A43 was widened and turned into a Dual Carriageway, the entrance tunnel was backfilled and part way down a double course brick wall was built. Recent, ‘intellectually challenged’ visitors have made an attempt to breach this wall in true Darwin Award style without doing their homework, if they had they would clearly see where the sealed entrance actually comes out and also see there is about 100 tonnes of rubble between the two points, thus saving them a few quid on their cheap B&Q hammers and chisels…
The end of Stewarts & Lloyds ownership ceased in 1967 when the steel industry was nationalised for the second time and they became part of the British Steel Corporation. Due to the high cost and low quality of local iron ore coming out of the quarries and mines, steel production at Corby was set to close in November 1979. This was delayed until 21 May 1980, due to the national steel strike, when the last coil came off the strip mills. In nearly 40 years of steel production they had produced almost 2.5 million tons of steel. By the end of 1981 5000 people were unemployed almost overnight as a result of the closure and by the end of the 80’s this figure reached 11,000. Most of the original 5 square mile site was demolished during the 1980’s to make way for the Corby you see today (Phoenix Retail Park and Phoenix Park Way Industrial Estate) but thankfully due to its location this site survived.
On the 6th October 1999 the Corus Group was formed through the merger of Koninklijke Hoogovens and British Steel and the Tubeworks continued at the site. On Tuesday, 27 July 2004 in an ironic twist the BBC ran a story about new owners Corus making an appeal for information about the ‘secret World War II bunker’ as they didn’t know what the underground tunnels were for 🙂
Not long after this the original gates were replaced by a very heavy duty permanent grille, welded to the walls.
In 2007 Corus was acquired by Indian company Tata and on 27 September 2010 Corus announced it was changing its name to Tata Steel Europe and adopting the Tata corporate identity.
These days after several fires, one badly burning out what was originally the Messengers & Liason room, and local morons getting in there and smashing things up the site is in quite a sorry state. The original (sealed) main entrance tunnel is full of items dumped from various decades but if you take the time to look there’s still some interesting things scattered about.
We took a couple of Plessey PDRM82’s in there and tried really hard to get any sort of reading at all from every single room and piece of equipment but the display didn’t register anything. I know they are not the most sensitive devices for background radiation but its probably safe to ignore all the scaremongering that has been reported about this site.
Ambulance Turntable
Toilet Blocks

Original Main Entrance
1950’s Doors
Castell remote locking switch
Messenger Hatches
Phillips DXI Portable X-Ray Unit

Signals Room
Linderode Saturn Spark Erosion machine
Linderode Saturn Spark Erosion machine
Phillips DXI Portable X-Ray Unit
Phillips DXI Portable X-Ray Unit
 
 
 
Old Telephone Exchange
 
 

Isotope Storage
 

Large Carl Drenck ‘Fedrex’ X-Ray Tube

Original Control Room

 
 
Isotope Trolley (Generator Room)
 
Generator Room

Original Ventilation Plant Room
 
 
Generator Room Blast Doors
 
 
Isotopes
 
X-Ray’s
 
 
British Contamination Meter, No. 1 set
 
 
 
 
STOP PRESS:
A week before Christmas 2010 the ARP Control Centre was completely welded shut (see last two pictures below), oh and someone stole the nice 1940’s light from outside…

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Market Deeping ROC Post – Northamptonshire Group

August 4, 2010 | Posted in Bunker, FSM, Nuclear, ROC, Royal Observer Corps | By

Opened – March 1960
Closed – September 1991
The last post visited as part of an ‘8 ROC Posts in one day’ tour and probably the mintiest ROC Post i’ve visited to date. Actually I didn’t really want to post this one up as it just serves as temptation for some morons to come and trash it and steal its contents but then I thought if I don’t post it up then someone else will…..its fate is sealed either way I guess…..hopefully someone will put a massive lock on it to protect this for future generations of visitors, who knows.

Some pix suffer from me experimenting with camera settings which I promise not to do while out in the field again…

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Castor ROC Post – Northamptonshire Group

August 3, 2010 | Posted in Bunker, FSM, Nuclear, Observation Post, ROC, Royal Observer Corps | By

Opened – February 1962
Closed – October 1968
Explored as part of an 8 ROC Posts in one day tour we visited Castor ROC Post, location of a well publicised suicide by a local farmer some years ago who hanged himself in the access shaft. Perhaps this has put off the chavs as the post is in no worse condition that when Sub Brit visited back in 1997, apart from the fact that the compound is now totally overgrown and it took us several laps of the site to locate the hatch and crawl on our hands and knees through the undergrowth.

Good deed of the day was rescuing a sick looking toad that probably fell down the severed at ground level FSM tube and bringing it back to the surface.

Also present at this site is a great example of an Aicraft Observation Post, originally this would have had a canvas cover on top and some steps.

I was experimenting with camera settings so apologies for the quality on some shots.

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