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Report - Spring Quarry Parts 4 and 5 - Burlington Central War Headquarters

Discussion in 'Noteworthy Reports' started by Speed, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Well appoligies for keeping everyone hanging some what and special appoligies to Rooks for posting this in parts (you love me really!) It is afterall rather alot to cram into one post eh? Im not trying to string it out but its taking time to write something constructive so bare with me.

    Part 4 – Burlington Central War Headquarters

    So where did I leave you? Ahh yes the 3 locked doors. Well we will just skim over that bit. Im sure you will all be able to think of your own way into the locked, live, MOD owned, hermetically sealed, cold war nuclear bunker, hidden in a 19th century stone mine with all its entrances either in or within pissing distance of a live military base.

    Anyway I jest, we were pretty lucky but we did it. Inside Burlington! I mean wtf has exploring come to? A few years ago when all the asylums ran out people said it was doomed but look at us now! Tube stations, Human Centrefuges! What next? Mail Rail, Big bloody Ben?

    So, to the story, for the first night in there we were joined by The raddest of dogs himself. The plan was, meet in Chelmsford at 3, be underground by 6, and have the whole night in there. It did not include Brighton, 3 cups of tea, fixing a Reliant Robin, cake, or getting lost in the new forest but sometimes things don’t go quite to plan.. Inevitably we ended up down there at 11pm needing to be out by 3am so we could get home for work at 6am, all in all a typical night! What’s my point? Well basically we put in a hell of a lot of effort for this, both above ground and below so you can imagine the feeling when it all comes good.

    Setting foot in here was weird, we were pretty sure there was no one about after hours but you never know, it wasn’t like ‘dark spring’ where you could hear people coming in the entrance at the other side of the mine. In here the fans were running disguising the approach of who ever may be around the corner. As I said in part 1, I thought I knew what id find in Burlington and I could picture in my head what I was going to see, some of it I saw but a whole lot of it was wrong and a whole lot of stuff turned up that I could never have imagined. The area of spring sectioned off for ‘Subterfuge’ as it was known. (defiantly my favourite of its names) is about 700m x 300m, quite an area. They call it a secret underground city, which in some ways is a bit steep but a secret underground village, yeh I can see that one. What I never realised was the changes it went through during it lifetime and how that impacts on what you find down there.

    You can roughly divide the bunker in to east and west sections the east section being dark, abandoned and decayed, decommissioned long in the past. The west section, in contrast, is minty clean, almost fully lit and having an almost surreal ‘time machine’ or ‘museum’ quality to it. Indeed some sections felt like it was all just a surreal mock up. There are a lot of empty rooms that were never fitted out but then huge areas of sublime mintness. Im guessing as the bunker never went into full operation most items stayed in storage until needed and that’s why some areas appear sparse. Some items were probably broken out of there ‘ER’ boxes and brown paper wrapping in later years just to use as props for visitors to get an idea of what was going on but who knows what went on down there exactly?

    I suppose I should get on to some photos, im just going to show some general areas in part 4, the major areas deserve a more in depth look. The various roadways named things like ‘North Ring Road’ and ‘South Main Road’ were great but navigating can be a bit confusing with everything signposted by its code number rather then its purpose. One of the highlights of the whole experience was standing at the bottom of ‘East Main Road’ looking west up the hill towards Section 8 (the GPO exchange) a 200m long dead straight view of absolute mind blowing epicness that a single picture could never capture.

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    The view down East Main Road from the Hospital

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    Public Lift 2, this looked to be well abandoned, unfortunately we didn’t get a huge amount of chance to investigate it in detail.

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    Stuck on the ring road again!

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    Close to Public Lift 1

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    The other side of PL1 there was a small museum of old mining tools and equipment.

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    Working Showers

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    And Toilets

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    Intersections

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    Here’s an interesting little room, close to the prime ministers office. This was an area we didn’t cover too well, we didn’t find the BBC studio or public address system or indeed the map room after getting waylaid in other areas. They all appeared to be hidden in a maze of empty unused offices.

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    Retro signs could be found all over the place.

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    We found one of the escalators but the other eluded us.

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    An area ive coined ‘the garage’ where all the electric carts and trains used to service the bunker lived

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    Service area, first trip the lights were on, next trip they were off.

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    And finally that view looking up East Main, the longest straight road down there!​
     
    #1 Speed, Apr 17, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
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  2. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Part 5 – Telephone Exchange and The Comcen

    Fuck saving best until last, let’s do the best bit first! Im guessing, like myself, when most people think of Burlington the picture that comes to mind (if any) is that of a small room with an, all be it awesome, 1950s telephone exchange desk and cardboard wrapped chairs. In reality that room is indeed mint as it ever gets but, what I want you to get into your head is that its is such a minor part of the exchange as a whole! The Whole GPO area is about 100 meters square and is by far the biggest section of the bunker. It is literally an explore all of its own! As well as your desks and chairs you have huge rooms full of switch gear from various eras, areas for maintenance with cupboards full of spare parts and even a small generator all of its own. You can spend hours in the exchanges tea room alone reading old documents and playing with the apocalyptic chess set.

    On thing I did really notice is the way this area really feels lived in. the rest of the bunker feels unused or mocked up but the exchange must have seen some activity at some point, it feels just like you would expect it to if you had just found it abandoned on your local high street after 50 years of use.


    So lets have a look then, starting with those 50s switch boards!

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    Im not that well up on telecommunications technology but I was totally blown away by all this stuff. I’ve never seen a switch board like that topside, let alone one big enough to switch a whole city.. underground!!! To have it tucked away where it is just makes it feel an insurmountable find. Its up there with Battersea’s control rooms, Belvior’s operating tents and The Grays State’s projector room in terms of things ive seen, it even had little brown cardboard covers on all the plugs still! That’s a win if ive ever seen one.

    And after the excitement of the first room you can head back into the rest and it stays just as good!

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    Now that’s that over and done with there is one more area I want to cover in Part 5, The ‘Comcen’ or Communication Centre.

    The Comcen isn’t a part of the exchange, it’s in the southern section of the bunker, hidden within a fairly derelict, dark area, obviously abandoned a while ago. Its function is pretty obvious from the name I think, just a network of rooms where typist would have beaver away on their own little ‘enigma machines’.

    Well im not actually sure how the ultra complex typewriter/code devices would relate to an enigma machine but I know I want one. Indeed there were hundreds, not just in here, I tripped over them in other areas too. Plenty of those cardboard chairs we all know and love knocking about too!

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    Apologies for the lack of photos from here, darkness, tiredness and amazement don’t do wonders for my picture taking motivation!

    Parts 6 to 8 soon. Totaly promise!
     
    #2 Speed, Apr 17, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
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  3. Shadow

    Shadow GDMEODC
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    Fucking epic mate, stunning report!!! :eek:
     
    #3 Shadow, Apr 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2012
  4. Dark Prince

    Dark Prince 28DL Regular User
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    Mmmmm bunkerific.....

    Nice to see the Comcen. Not many people have seen this as its in an area which 'they' deem to be too hazardous to enter due to mould...or something like that. Oh and yeah PL2 is abandoned. Pretty sure the actual lift car will be sat in the pit on the buffers.

    DP
     
  5. Brick_Man

    Brick_Man 28DL Full Member
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    those chairs, i want, so many of them! like a little chair army! :D
     
  6. spungletrumpet

    spungletrumpet Super Moderator
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    As far as I can make out, the telephone exchange was the second biggest in the UK when it was built. Crazy stuff.

    Brilliant collection of pics again Speed, thanks so much for sharing.
     
  7. Brick_Man

    Brick_Man 28DL Full Member
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    talking of pics, speed, your pictures are like shit compared to TMD's, you don't have no tripod, WHAAAAT
     
  8. Heracles

    Heracles 28DL Full Member
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    I love that telephone exchange to an unhealthy degree... beautiful..

    Even if I'm never able to see it, it's great to see more photos of it.
     
  9. The Engineer

    The Engineer 28DL Regular User
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    Yet again I find my jaw scrapping the floor, love the pictures and thoroughly enjoyed the write up. No matter how many reports are done on this place i don't think I will ever tire of them. Another report with fantastic shots :Not Worthy

    Well done thankyou for sharing, Hats of to you Speed.:thumb

    Ps if ever there is a chance to tag along with anyone to this place I would consider it a priveleage !
     
  10. diehardlove

    diehardlove 1 of them cnuts off 28dsl
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    amazing report and amazing place lovely pics all,
     
    #10 diehardlove, Apr 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2010
  11. nickg

    nickg Silent Assassin
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    Nice one Speed, this really pushes the boundaries of exploring and as you've said where's next? This is truly been an Epic year so far and it's only April! The place is like a museum and I sincerely hope that whenever they do whatever they do with the place they rescue these artifacts of historical importance.
     
  12. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    You lot have some cheek not bumping the original reports!
     
  13. Adders

    Adders living in a cold world
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    Go bump your own reports! :p:
     
  14. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Didnt even move them to public for me.. pufft! :p:
     
  15. Adders

    Adders living in a cold world
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    :p:

    It's what you get for banging out a 10 part report.
     
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