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Report - Portsdown Hill Fuel Depot (June 2015)

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by gregorious77, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. gregorious77

    gregorious77 28DL Full Member
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    Its open at the moment so went to take a looksie.
    History:
    These were built during the late 1930s as bombproof Naval Oil Reservoirs.
    The underground chamber contains nine 35 feet high concrete storage tanks, most of which are capable of holding 19,500 tons of Furnace Fuel Oil. There is also a large pumping station containing 2 pre-war pumps which were used to pump the oil to the oil fuel jetty in Portsmouth Harbour (Gosport). The walls of the reservoir were made of concrete 22 feet thick, and no bomb produced during WW2 was capable of penetrating this structure. At least 15 men died during the construction, usually due to rock falls. Many of the construction workers were Irish Catholics, and the last rites were frequently given inside the cavern; the priest seemed to be on constant call.

    The oil was needed as an emergency supply for British warships in case oil deliveries to western British ports were blockaded by the German Navy. The construction work was undertaken by Sir Robert McAlpine's construction company.
    More info on this and others here

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    It looks as if it has been flooded in the pump room so I guess we were lucky to get in there. I was worried about the air quality as my mate said others had used BA down there but there is extraction that still works?!?! There were no strong fumes down there just oil over everything due to the flooding.
     
    #1 gregorious77, Jun 15, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2015
    mw0sec and ACID- REFLUX like this.

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  2. Els

    Els Obsessed with BS7671
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    That's pretty good mate. Can you add in a bit of history or background?
     
  3. gregorious77

    gregorious77 28DL Full Member
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    Have done now
     
  4. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Nice one, thanks.
     
  5. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    Well done for entering the pump room. One look at all that oil and I chose not to. According to the map that is on the wall in a few places, the stairs you saw lead up to alternative entrance and so would quickly had become a dead end. Probably not worth a revisit.
     
  6. gregorious77

    gregorious77 28DL Full Member
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    Just noticed this is not on the locations map. How do you add to it?
     
  7. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Nice ones mate :thumb looks well worth a visit. Surprised there"s no fumes TBH you"d think it"s be BA gear without a doubt
     
  8. trailboss99

    trailboss99 28DL Full Member
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    Bunker fuel is one grade above bitumen so not as fumy as say, automotive diesel. The stuff needs to be heated before it can be pumped so the oil lying around is probably the stuff that comes to surface in the tanks. It can be quite fumy. Large modern marine diesels burn the same stuff (close inshore they are required to burn a grade closer to conventional diesel instead, much cleaner) and a big container ship uses around 1/2 a ton to the nautical mile (@22 knots) at around 35 cents a litre! Those pumps are beautiful, it's a pity one won't be preserved.
     
  9. Mark twiglet

    Mark twiglet 28DL Full Member
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    When are you going again? I'm local (lee on the Solent )
     
  10. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Is it just me or are most of the pictures missing?
     
    Wevsky likes this.
  11. trailboss99

    trailboss99 28DL Full Member
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    Not just you OT
     
  12. Mark twiglet

    Mark twiglet 28DL Full Member
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    I can only see one image!!!!
     
  13. Dragon's Lair

    Dragon's Lair 28DL Full Member
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  14. Mark twiglet

    Mark twiglet 28DL Full Member
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    Where is the entrance ?
     
  15. Wevsky

    Wevsky A Predisposed Tourist
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    plenty of info on google ,people wont tell you where entrances are on a public thread for all to see
     
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