big in japan
with Millhouse, AndrewB and Morse, thanks to dicky21 for directionsSpeedo's selfless addition of the remaining Barking Powerstation buildings to the urbox tourist bureau's hot derpstinations lineup back in December got me pretty keen for a look in, especially after spending Friday evening in the freezing cold waiting for workmen to knock off and skulking in the shadows of one of National Grid's unkempt back gardens. With not a smidgeon of success the previous night, we were all hungry for something decent.
The mini electricity city in the South East of Barking is essentially a massive shithole, but there is something I quite like about it. The long trudge from our parking spot down those lonely roads to the sound micro-arcing from the surrounding pylons has a real 2000AD-esque feel to it, a vibe quickly dispersed once you rock up to Daggenham Sunday Market.
Once you get to the site of the Sunday Market, it's not really surprising that the natives have passed this one up. From the outside, it looks utterly fucked, and it's not until you get over the fence and into the control room of the remaining substation you realise what a hidden gem this is.
The tunnels themselves have been cemented on the substation side, so the only way to get to the old control building is through a yard which looks like a set from 'The Road', complete with grubby, emaciated cannibals. Stupidly jumping over the fence at 4.00pm on a Saturday afternoon, we quickly realised after peeking through one of the broken windows of the nearest shack there were two of said cannibals in the shed, 2 feet away from where we were stood heaving crap onto a burning pile of tyres out the front of the garage. We opted for the "lots of creeping about in circles making too much noise and shouting in whispers about what a silly idea this all is" option, before coming to rest behind a load of granite blocks at the far end of yard where we waited for them to knock off and go home. Amazingly, they both left within about 30 minutes of us getting to out little stone hide-out, and as soon as the sound of that knackered white transit had faded to a few yards down the road, we dashed along the yard and in through the front door with about 25 minutes of sunlight left. Cue speed shoot:
Old wet acid batteries
Old wet acid batteries
The basement of this one was a particular highlight, especially the old valve PA gear and Ferranti power meters (a product of a recent Mancunian project)
We did make it into the tunnels, but encountered breeze blocks at almost every point, they've either recently been busy or we missed a trick...
Once we were out, it was a quick trip to spoons for some grub before the London team rolled out the red carpet for the motion picture event of the season!