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Report - Battersea Power Station - A, B & tunnels, November 2011 - March 2012

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by OliverT, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. OliverT

    OliverT 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Battersea, it's just one of those places everyone has to see, at least once. Even without the control rooms, just to stand in the collosal turbine halls, still clad in their original tiling. And to stand in the boiler house, which although now ruined by an ugly marquee, to have the chimneys surrounding you like that.. It's a great feeling.

    I've visited Battersea about six times now. Each time concentrating on different sections of the building. I spent one night just wondering around the halls with Za Gringo and Analepsis, working out ways we could access the elusive control rooms.
    Control room A was on my 'bucket list', and ironically, the access we found that night could have well killed me. I'm glad I turned that access down, as I realised after reaching the top floors of the building, that actually that access would have only brought us up to more locked doors.

    So think of Battersea as a jigsaw. Most sites that get sealed, they'll block off all windows and doors, but leave the inside intact; so, once you're in, you're in.
    Battersea, on the other hand, is different. The building is wide open. If you can't find a way in, you're blind. The tricky bit is getting off the ground floor. In A's case, they'd done a good job with sealing that. Not forgetting security patrol the inside, making getting around harder.

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    So, with Fishbrain in the area, we teamed up with Keitei to finally crack the elusive control room A. Piecing together all the intel I'd learnt from my previous visits, and with a little help, we found ourselves making the final ascent to the glorious wooden doorways leading into art-deco porn.

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    The next challenge was finding our way onto the roof. As I said earlier, the doors are all locked. Our only option was to climb through a hatch by the glass ceiling. Balancing on a light fitting, that is obviously not designed to take human weight.
    What we failed to spot was the ladder hidden away; that made things much easier on my next visit. :)

    A little more climbing and plenty of bird shit later, we found ourselves standing on the roof, with the chimneys towering above us still. First thing we did, was to climb up to the chimneys....

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    With A-station now out the way, my attentions turned to B-station.
    I'd been told about the death-defying access, climbing up the gurders over killer drops etc. All day, I'd got myself psyched up for this killer climb, putting it off as long as I could. But tonight would be the night. And once again I found myself creeping back through the site, after watching security patrol not five minutes before-hand. This time, in the company of Dicky and Analepsis. Dicky had been before, so it helped that we knew where we were going.

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    Now, the aforementioned climb. The first part of the climb was easy; yes, there was a big drop on one side, but that was no problem.
    The second part was the good bit: The door was unlocked! Sweet! And straight to the roof we went...

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    Spot Dicky:
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    This has got to be my favourite roof. Not only are the views not half bad, but to have all the brick-work towering above you, it's like no other.

    With the roof out the way, it was time to go in search of the control room. B-station is a lot different to A. There is a lot more in B; intact staircases, offices, and stripped floors spanning the length of the building.

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    The control room sits above the turbine hall, next to a small, but grand staircase.
    We slipped through a gap, and I found myself standing in a room full of switches, relays and space-age equipment. This was a real achievement for me. I know there's a bit more to Battersea, but in my mind this was mission complete. I love the place, and I'd now seen pretty much all it has to offer.

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    So, that was it for me. I'd seen it. I loved it.
    But, before I go, here's a couple from the tunnels. Which is a hidden surprise to those who know where to look. Unfortunately you can't access the power station via these anymore. But they're still worth a look if you're ever at a loose end. Just make sure you're skinny, able to pull yourself through tight, dirty spaces and have lungs that don't mind soaking up twenty years worth of street litter and dust.

    This is what greets you on the other end:
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    Thanks for looking.
     

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