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Report - Kelvedon Hatch BT Mast - August 2013

Discussion in 'High Stuff' started by Special Brew, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Special Brew

    Special Brew 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    This is nothing new and has been reported relatively recently, but for the purpose of showing some activity and sharing a great experience, I decided I’d post this regardless.

    The now decommissioned BT radio mast in Kelvedon Hatch Is a huge Landmark in the village famous for its `(Not so) Secret Nuclear Bunker`. Although not directly linked to the bunker the mast did supposedly form part of the `Backbone` defence during the Cold War. The top of the mast is the highest point in Essex and with its ability for line-of-sight transmission to the BT Tower in London, the mast was used as part of their groundbreaking `London Radiophone Service` in 1965. This service would allow connection to any landline telephone in the country from mobile telephones from the road, within the greater London area, effectively giving birth to the mobile phone.

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    Although there is some history behind this I will admit that it was purely the challenge that drew me to this. I had seen the reports a while back and thought how great it would be to get to the top. After a long summer of itching to give it a go, I finally picked a day and a Non-member friend of mine agreed to go with me, replacing my usual exploring mates who are afraid of heights and for some reason didn’t fancy it. Being the first real climb for both of us we were excited but unsure of how we’d react.

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    Getting off the bus it wasnt long before we saw the target, which of course looked much taller than we'd expected.
    Having got to the mast we hit a slight set back as whilst walking the perimeter I turned the corner to see an unexpected human sat looking at me in the only garden overlooking the field. He tried his best to scare me off with short rant and some swearing, so i agreed to leave. I was lying of course. There was no way we would go all that way to then not even give it a go.

    With the added worry of someone turning up we quickly made our move. We had reached the 3rd level when the mix of height, wind and lack of a cage on the narrow ladder got to us and we shamefully bailed. At the bottom the sense of failure was too much to bear so after an energy drink each my compatriot made the call and we went to try again. This time going up 2 levels at a time we overcame the mental struggle and by halfway I was truly enjoying it. At the top we claimed our prize, and it was well worth it. Despite the weather the views were still fantastic. Seeing the butterfly wings, left By Bauhausgirl on her climb with GAJ, was also an added bonus despite their battered state. My new friend from earlier re-appeared in his garden whilst we were at the very top. He obviously hadnt suspected us, to not only ignore his requests to leave but then also, to climb the mast when we parted earlier on as no one had turned up in a couple of hours. With him staring up at us we decided against testing our luck any further and began the long 380ft decent to get away cleanly.

    I went into this quite uneasy with heights and getting to the top has almost rid me of that. The satisfaction at the top is well worth it.

    Photos were mostly taken by my mate with his camera.

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    Thanks for having a look

     

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