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Report - Dodge Hill ARS - Stockport, Manchester - August 2012

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by goingunder, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. goingunder

    goingunder 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    After having just introduced myself I guess now is a good time to introduce my first report ;)

    All of my previous outings have been drains so this was a welcome change and a totally different environment. I can see from browsing on here that Dodge Hill ARS is a probably a familiar spot to most and I feel that it wouldn't be much use providing the history and background of the place (am I right on this?). As we live in North Manchester this place is only a ten minute drive away and after reading the reports from others we had to pay a visit.

    Entry was painless and once in the main thing that struck us was how un-eerie and peaceful the place felt, I attribute that to the sandstone's sound absorbing attributes and the soft, sand covered floor: no echos, no drips. Obviously the history of the place spins around your mind, picturing the scene all those years back and how it must have been to have had to use the place for its intended purpose. However, once you've seen a few corridors and paid a visit to the loos it gets rather sameish. The pattern in the sandstone caught my eye, would I be right in guessing the carving of the tunnels was very low tech, with a pick axe? Small criss-cross lines everywhere.

    It's quite clear many explorers have been before, we saw a canister of orange smoke and some glow stick wrappers, I guess used for photography effects. Loads of batteries and broken torches, fairly obvious why these were needed. We did see one particularly short tunnel, or a small side room even, containing two duvets - cosy night in at the ARS eh.

    In terms of lighting we had some fairly poor LED block lights and an LED head torch, along with some blue LED light strips which contain maybe 50 to 100 LEDs powered by two 9v batteries held together with some make shift wiring. The lighting we brought with us was rather poor in terms of how far the light projected, we had maybe 2 to 3 meters distance max, and it wasn't exactly bright. The first test snaps proved that if we only used the white light from the torches the pictures were going to be dull as hell, even with 15 - 25ms exposure, and there was no chance of using a low ISO setting.

    We opted to make use of the blue LEDs to provide the lighting for all of the shots, using ISO 800 at the expense of some grain in the images and for the most part a 20s shutter speed. The results are quite good, though I do look through them craving some non-blue tinted shots, and some shots showing the depth and length of the tunnels wouldn't have gone a miss but we was severely lacking decent lighting - a thing to fix for the next visit for sure. I shall be using the forum search facility to see if any threads exist that provide tips for lighting with respect to urbex locations.

    Enough blabber, pictures speak for themselves.

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