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Report - Portsdown Hill (Portsmouth) Underground WW2 Radio, July 2012

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by TheRed, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. TheRed

    TheRed 28DL Member
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    This has been done a few times before, but I've wanted to go for ages. I was in the specific area and it was a nice day so I thought I should. Admittedly, this ad-hoc approach saw me enter without any form of lighting or a tripod, so the results are a bit sketchy - but I've been on hiatus for a year after the birth of my son and I just wanted to get something done! Glad I went, though. Was a bit hesitant after that girl got crushed in a landfall after the recent deluges, and the addition of the new sign beneath the Skull sign!

    For history, to those who aren't already familar, this structure was dug and built to house a secure radio station. It was linked to the command stuff at Fort Southwick, but was a little distance away because the four large aerial arrays on the hill above were an easy target. Some remnants of above ground structures to do with this exist, but only barely. A couple of boreholes into this site from the hill above exist, which brought armoured cabling down for telephony, electricity, and I guess they only had wired internet in those days too. Much like shelters and so on from the era, it is a mix of raw stone and corrugated lining. Some evidence of fittings remains, but by and large the only things you'd find are cans or graffiti. There is also a seperate chamber inbetween the two portals (unvisited) which was almost certainly part of the set up. The entrances (one main and one escape, which would have been sealed at the time) are now about 40 foot up due to the chalkpit being mined further after 1945. Apparently, the M275 is the reason for this extra depth.

    A plan from Subbrit:

    paulsgrove_quarry_plan.gif

    New rockfall sign added.

    7646461588_82945c4512_z.jpg

    I wonder why?

    7646455344_aa29a55e5e_z.jpg

    View of the escape portal - the most accessible. It's been partially backfilled so it's a hands and knees job at first.

    7646456260_fc2f5607af_z.jpg

    View from the portal.

    7646455798_08a707820e_z.jpg

    Almost pretty, but again, reasonably low.

    7646461050_fd608830e1_z.jpg

    View from the first corner to the escape portal.

    7646460164_baa32da76d_z.jpg

    Looking back at the first corner.

    7646459288_e3a0931c47_z.jpg

    The cut (on left ifrom where a borehole heads up many feet to the surface. This was inset so that the extensive cabling wouldn't impede the working area.

    7646457318_f539dd0d23_z.jpg

    The construction.

    7646456672_4a34b07d2c_z.jpg

    Old graffiti - chalk looks better than the scratchings.

    7646459768_4e04e0137f_z.jpg

    View from the second chamber back towards the stairway.

    7646457658_577a907e28_z.jpg

    Unfortunate, and vaguely ironic, graffiti.

    7646458054_2184c3cd65_z.jpg

    View from last corner to the former main entrance.

    7646458786_1c1fc28297_z.jpg

    Evidence of neanderthals making fire in this side passage

    7646458448_a3043bea6f_z.jpg


    That's your lot. Sorry they're not a bit better - I was finding my way around via the autofocus light and then having to manually focus blind, too. Like I say, though, I kind of had an itch on to get something done and posted. I also went to Cocking today, but there are about a million of those so perhaps I should leave that one be!
     

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