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Report - WW2 Underground Flour Mill - Siggiewi, Malta - Sept15

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by The devil child, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. The devil child

    The devil child 28DL Regular User
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    Big thanks to Bertie Bollockbrains for the lead on this site :thumb So i ventured out to see if i could locate the mill, not knowing too much about location and access of the site but roughly where it was i found something at the location which started off pretty cool but very small and next to it was a load of rubble slowly giving up hope and about to leave i noticed vent shafts down in to the mill, i started walking up the lane back to where i 1st came but from a different way and boom i clock a mine style entrance with gates on and a hole with a rock up to it, surely this is it i thought so up i climbed on to the gate and through the hole and to my relief it was in fact the long dark tunnel down in to the mill. i hopped in and got out the head torch and headed in, surprised to see everything still there but in a bit of a bad condition as this out of the 8 underground mills in Malta this is the biggest with two mills here in the same space, the tunnel splits off in to two with a mill in each chamber mill one is the better condition of the pair and mill two has had some serious damage done by arson and vandalism but even how it sits to date it was still worth holding on and keep looking of the entrance. Ill go on the the history of the site now and then on to the pictures apologies on some of the quality i only had my head torch which isn't the brightest torch going but it did the job :D

    Underground Flour Mills

    When the threat of nuclear war became imminent, the British Services in the Maltese Islands prepared a civil defence system aimed at ensuring a supply of food for the population of the Islands. These preparations took the form of a number of flour mills which were excavated in live rock and were self sufficient as regards the power required to run them.

    The post-Second World War period was characterized for several decades with a continually brewing conflict known as the Cold War. This, together with the uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear warfare, led to a significant threat of a nuclear conflict in Europe. The Maltese islands had always been dependent on imported and stored food, particularly grain. To increase the storage of grain, the British Colonial Office took the decision to construct several underground flour mills in the Maltese islands, which would give the local population a staple diet of bread in case of need. Seven underground mills were constructed in Malta

    The underground mills were excavated during 1954-55. They consisted of an entrance tunnel, some 30 meters long, 2.5 meters high and 3 meters wide, leading into a large chamber. This chamber was divided into three floors and housed the storage, grinding and milling equipment. A grain silo with a storage capacity of about 1000 tons of weath was situated at the rear of the mill. This was connected to the milling machinery by mechanical augers. The silo had access from the surface. The mill was supplied and installed by the British Company Thomas Robinson of Rochdale, England. It was powered by an 80 hp diesel engine and an alternator supplied the electrical power.

    These flour mills were each composed of a pair of large silos where the grain was stored, archimedian screws which transported the grain to the milling machines, and the machines proper. The milling machine ran was started by first firing up a starting engine which would then fire up the engine proper of the milling machine. The machine functioned through a series of leather belts which provided traction for all the moving parts. Of particular note is the fact that the milled grain was segregated into its different components by the machine itself and the miller's work mainly consisted of ensuring the bags of milled grain did not overflow.

    The mills were all underground and were spread around the Maltese Islands in areas that were at the time mainly arable. Some of the locations have now been developed, but most of the mills are still located in areas that are predominantly rural

    The Buskett (Siggiewei) mill is particular since it is composed of two mills in one. This means that the ramp leading underground forks into two paths, each of which leads to a complete and separate mill

    So on arrival i came to this part which was part of the mill at one point i believe but there wasn't much too see as you will notice
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    With that being the 1st part i found and no sign of any entrance to the mill yet i was giving up hope on finding it with a load of waste land and rubble around this part i was nearly ready to call it a day and leave but then i spotted this
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    Not giving up hope after finding this and knowing there is something under my feet i decided to take a walk around the site to see if i could find the access still nothing i started to walk back up the lane where it is and then BOOM

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    This was a few from the badly damaged Mill 2

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    Mill 1

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    Once again a big thank you and shout out to Bertie Bollockbrains for the heads up on this location with out it i wouldn't have even known they existed (cheers mate:thumb)

    Thanks for looking i hope you have enjoyed it TDC
     
    #1 The devil child, Sep 30, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015

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  2. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Underground mills, hewn out of the rock. Unimaginable really. But there you have it. Nice work.
     
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  3. The devil child

    The devil child 28DL Regular User
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    Yes i wouldnt have believed it but the lead payed off :D and to know there was originally 8 across the island two have been restored and a couple have been demolished it still leaves 3 out there something i will be checking up on :thumb
     
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  4. clebby

    clebby ( . Y . )
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    That's nuts. Nice work for following the lead up so quickly too.
     
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  5. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Pretty cool that , some good bits and bobs left there :)
     
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  6. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    Bloody hell! The boy's done good

    From me giving you the lead to this report was less than 20 hours! Was expecting you to take a few weeks just to locate them precisely. Well that's one down, up to 7 more to do! The restored one in Xlendi (Gozo) is said to be in mint condition with original equipment - may be worth contacting Munxar local council (for they are the key holders) to arrange a permission visit.

    I was heading back to Malta soon, and probably before Christmas. But the more I thinking about it, I need to return sooner rather than later because as you know I still have the secret leads and unfinished business from my trip. Fancy teaming up? As Oxygen Thief once told me, there's hundreds of potential explores out there. Malta is definitely under reported so far.

    Now how we getting on with those Rabat tunnels?
     
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  7. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    Forgot to mention there's a book called "Underground Malta 360 Degrees" which will be available in bookshops out there and hopefully for less than the 82 Euros that website charges. That will really help.
     
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  8. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Proper noice that. Top reportage and rapid follow up. :thumb
     
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  9. The devil child

    The devil child 28DL Regular User
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    Cheers mate :rolleyes: I am up for teaming up to check out some stuff for sure :thumb and i checked a fair few of the gates last night all the ones i checked were locked a lot were being used as storage shone the torch in it looks like little dungeon rooms as such but as there was a fair few people about i couldnt hang around and look to obvious of what i was doing ill keep going back every now and again and checking different areas see what comes up :rolleyes:
     
  10. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    One more lead for you: 1950s nuclear bunker near to Mosta in the Rihana Valley (local language: Ghajn Rihana) - lies sort of north of Mosta and about 500m from Fort Mosta

    IMG_6022.jpg

    As you can see from the pic... it's right on the Victoria Lines so easy to find. Wear a P3 mask - the asbestos risk in here is real.
     
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  11. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
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    I was scrolling down thinking "not much in there"... then bang! That's pretty special!
     
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  12. The Kwan

    The Kwan funksoul Brother
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    Fascinating stuff mate and so much to see, thanks for posting it up!
     
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  13. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    Got my flight booked for November :D and have now located exactly the entrances for 7 of the 8 mills - can confirm that 2 are destroyed, 2 restored and rarely open to the public, so that leaves 4 that are explorable. The strange thing is, one of the mills is literally about 20m away from where my old house was. Wondering how come I never noticed the mill!! (wasn't an explorer in those days btw)
     
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