Turds On A Bum Ride

Playing catch up with pix as I’m running out of year, these are from March 2013, think it was an official SubBrit thing run by KURG from memory (but that’s not important).

What is important is to tell the story nobody else chose to tell (i.e. they would rather people didn’t know it happened so they didn’t get mugged off…) I quite like the truth though, especially when people try to cover it up so lets tell the story shall we? 🙂

As stated earlier this was an official/invite trip to Shorts Brothers Seaplane Factory as opposed to the DiY visits that will soon get it permanently sealed.

Some people seem to think if you go on an organised trip then its not cool and you run the risk of getting laughed at on some of the ‘narcissist/look at me’ forums out there, they fear criticism by their peers and long for praise. To me this smacks of low self esteem and a need to feel loved by someone…a bit like a dog who feels happy and accepted if he gets a nice stroke and who feels over the moon if someone tosses him a bone.
Me? I couldn’t care less how I get into places as long as I get to see them and as a result of this probably 15% of what I do is ‘official’…who cares!

Getting back to the story…there’s two guys on this trip from a well known forum (actually one of them is now a Moderator), but they try to keep this quiet because:

A) They would almost certainly have been denied access and
B) They would be the laughing stock of their forum.

Their plan fails spectacularly on Option B as word got out on this forum and a few members did a DiY visit the night before and left a ‘calling card’ for these two guys to show them they were ‘busted’ by their forum buddies. When I say ‘calling card’ what I actually meant was strategically placed piles of fresh, glistening, human turds along with spray painted arrows pointing to their actual real world names (also spray painted) on the floor at various point in the tunnels. Naturally this shocked some members on the visit and enraged others and very quickly there was a guessing game (in pitch darkness) to eliminate the two Turd Targets.

Me and Winch found this hilarious but the organisers didn’t (understandably) but for me it goes to show the duplicity of this lot, they’ll hide in plain sight to get on trips like this, then rip and slate the hand that feeds them when in the company of others, alas this is the world we live in these days.

Here’s a few pix anyway, I did get some turd shots but I don’t want to name names, how would you feel if there was a picture of your name next to a steaming pile of turd?

Playing with the Quark RGB 🙂
‘That’ damn junction (again)
No turds were harmed during the making of this blog post

Shorts Brothers Seaplane Factory & Public Shelters – Rochester

Founded in 1908, Shorts was the first company in the world to make production aircraft and was a manufacturer of flying boats during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s and Royal Air Force bombers throughout the Second World War.Due to the success at the time of Seaplanes Shorts Brothers required a bigger site than theirexistingShellbeach Aerodrome site on the Isle of Sheppey (opened 1909) and also one that had direct access to the sea so in 1913 they bought an 8 acre plot in Rochester.By 1915 the first factory opened on the site, No.1 Erecting Shop. Soon after No.2 and No.3 Erecting Shops were built and a concrete slipway from the factory was built from No.3 Erecting Shop onto the Medway so they could launch planes straight onto the river.During WW1 over 900 Short Admiralty Type 184 (S.184) were built and it became their most successful aircraft. Also during this time they built over 50 flying boats. Between the wars Shorts were awarded the British Government defence contract for the Sunderland Flying Boat (The Flying Porcupine) and it became one of the most effective long-range seaplanes, eventually seeing heavy use inWW2 as an anti-submarine patrol bomber.By the time the Second World War came along they had run out of space at Rochester so Shorts requested permission from the Ministry of Aircraft Production to build an underground factory to accommodate new machine tools. The request was approved and two parallel tunnels were created, linked by four 75 meter adits that ran out to the back of the existing factory. Added to this were two ventilation shafts going directly to the surface. After the factory was built Shorts Brothers then constructed a huge network of Public Air Raid Shelters which consisted of two 300 yard tunnels with 14 crosscuts, connected to the Shorts Factory by a single 400 meter tunnel. There were entrance adits at various points along the tunnel as well as three ventilation shafts which doubled as emergency exits.

Due to the success of the Sunderland Flying Boat it won them the contract for the Shorts Stirling, the RAF’s first four-engine bomber and in addition to this A high-speed, long-range, four-engined flying-boat, the Short Shetland. During WW2 the Rochester site was heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe resulting in many planes such as the Stirling being destroyed.

The demand for Seaplanes waned and by 1947 all of the Shorts Brothers Seaplane factories had been closed and in 1948 the Rochester factory finally closed and Shorts moved to Belfast. In November 1947 the site was purchased and conveyed to The Ministry of Supply on 12th April 1948.

The site was then used by various companies over the following decades (the most notable being Blaw Knox) and different parts of the site were leased to numerous different engineering companies until the site began to be sold off in sections.

CAV Ltd – Juy 1954
Blaw Knox Ltd – Dec 1955
Ozonair Engineering. Ltd – Oct 1958
Wm Palfrey Ltd – Nov 1960
City of Rochester Highway – March 1961
CAV Ltd – Nov 1963
Berry Ede & White – Sep 1975
Medway Borough Council – Feb 1978

By the 1990’s the Blaw Knox buildings started to get demolished and luxury housing was built in its place with the tunnel site remaining (but with some serious structural reinforcements in places!!).

Shorts Empire Canopus
Shorts Empire Flying Boat
Shorts Mayo Composite
Shorts Mussell II Monoplane
Shorts Factory 1950
Seaplane Factory
Entrance to Public Shelters from factory
Public Shelters
Lazy Wall