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Report - Optimus Prime, Feb 2010

Discussion in 'UK Draining Forum' started by Ojay, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
    Staff Member Admin

    Nov 24, 2008
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    Visited By Ojay & Stepping Lightly.

    OPTIMUS PRIME - Been wanting to see this for some time, and believe me was well worth every minute, the sheer size of this place is incredible!

    Wadering up was pure comedy in the middle of Manchester with people passing buy...LOL
    This place was first discovered by Userscott and Stepping lightly.

    The massive culvert was built to allow the river Irk which was arched over and the river bed paved in 1901 as part of the station extensions to pass under Victoria station. It is roughly 1km long and has a number of
    interesting features including some side ducts a couple which we explored one of which leading under Walkers Croft the other behind Victoria, a cattle bridge 20 feet below the station, a coal chute and a morgue chute (nice), where dead cattle were loaded onto barges. At the end we also saw part of an original bridge and Sewer pipe that runs into and through the arches and beyond Hunts Bank. (more of this another day!)

    Having wadered up we entered the monster which is prime at the infall. This was rather tricky climbing down a fall in the weir, its one helly of a
    slippy drop down with some serious flowage! After a few hair raising minutes (for me not S.L) were in.

    Its pitch black in here and the roar from the weir is crazy. It's seriously difficult to light up due to the size of the place and the saturation of light with all the brickwork. It didn't help that I left my head torch at the infall with the excitement, and even dropping my maglite into the Irk I still managed to get some half decent photos.

    We crossed the weir to the other side which was no mean feat with serious flowage at nearly chest height at times and dragging me with rats swimming by. S.L also informed me of, and I kid you not, some 4 foot albino fish, which sadly didn't come out to play, maybe next time.

    The cattle bridge was really good to see, as well as the original bridges near the outfall and the various ducts on the way.

    It was great spending time with Stepping Lightly he is sound guy and really knows his stuff for those that don't know him. I thoroughly enjoyed
    every minute with him and some of the other explores we have done. I got to know about some real interesting facts some of which I had no idea
    about and some I had a little knowledge of.

    The weir where the level drops 2 metres at the infall..

    Pill shaped side duct

    First duct we explored, leading to and through sewer fresh eventually to the manhole chamber somewhere below back of Victoria


    Wooden cattle bridge, 20 feet below the station platforms. This once linked Long Millgate with Walkers Croft

    One of the original bridges S.L informs me that was used before the station was extended


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  2. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
    Staff Member Admin

    Nov 24, 2008
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    Re: Optimus Prime, Re-visited April 2010

    Re-visited by Ojay, Gone, Rookie & Urban Soldier.

    Just to get a better shot of that bridge. :D all round as Rookie fell in at the weir, me & Gone wadering further into the unknown (sinking fast), Urban Soldiers tripod WIN oh and the rats 'running' at us down stream :eek: and some lovely spiders thrown in for Gone, hahaha, check yer rucksack dude, they often climb in and multiply ;)

    Goodtimes :thumb



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  3. Gone

    Regular User

    May 5, 2009
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    Few of Mine;





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