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Report - - HMS Forward - South Heighton - June 12 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - HMS Forward - South Heighton - June 12



REEF

Getthegirlkillthebaddies
28DL Full Member
#1
Visited With Monk and The126

This has been on my list for a very long time but with the access problems I didn't think it would ever happen.

In 1941 the Royal Navy constructed a complex of tunnels 66ft underground, this housed a control centre which plotted all shipping traffic in the English Channel between Dungeness and Selsey Bill. This filled the gap between Dover (Dumpy) and Portsmouth (Fort Southwick).

As there were no above ground fortifications in the area (unlike Dover) the Navy based the site in the former Guinness Trust Holiday Home grounds utilising the main building as the entrance to the bunker. Pill boxes were also constructed accessed from the bunker to defend the site.
HMS Forward was decommissioned on 31 August 1945.

In 2000 English Heritage declared HMS Forward as a site of National Importance.

The Guinness Trust house (now demolished)
forwardold01.jpg


The entrance to the tunnels that would have come from a room in the house.
forward13.jpg


Looking down the main access stairway to the grenade pit at the bottom, note the machine gun loop in the wall.
forward14.jpg


Close up of the pit and the loop.
forward15.jpg


The reception area taken from a stairwell which lead to a observation lookout disguised as a chicken coop.
forward08.jpg


Backfilled lookout.
forward09.jpg


Airlock at the bottom of the second flight of stairs.
forward17.jpg


Original airlock door
forward16.jpg


The main bunker consists of two long rooms interlinked with passageways.
One of the main Rooms.
forward02.jpg


The other main room with smaller areas built within. These were used as Mess Rooms, etc.
forward01.jpg


Interlinking passageway.
forward05.jpg


Telecom area, the floor was dug out due to the size of the machines installed.
forward03.jpg


A corridor than leads off the above areas to another airlock. Here two more tunnels lead off to four of the Pillboxes.
forward21.jpg


Leading up to the Pillboxes, note that there's no stairs....
forward23.jpg


To bottom of the access shaft to the Pillbox, all four looked pretty much the same.
forward22.jpg


Plant room.
forward19.jpg


Toilets
forward27.jpg


This is the final corridor which feels like to goes on for miles and leads to another entrance.
forward20.jpg


forward26.jpg


Guard room at the end of the tunnel, note another firing loop.
forward29.jpg


I have many more photo's but think that will do....... ok, just a few more.
forward25.jpg


forward28.jpg


forward24.jpg


Massive thanks to Monk, I never thought this would happen and had forgot all about the place. I hope the owners get to do something with the place as it could be a valuable attraction to the area.

Thanks for looking
 
#4
Just been there. Admittedly was dark and late but since i was in the mood ..... the only access point is surely up the stairs from the road side. I had not seen this report before my quick reccy, wish I had, but it seems like all other entrances have long since been backfilled or built over.

As it stands at the moment there is a large steel plate welded over the entrance doorway. There is a few inch gap which I tried to take a couple of pictures through, sorry for quality. The only way in now is basically vandalism. Its not welded all around and if you happened to have a portable plasma cutter you could get in in just a minute by cutting through 4 short welds. Perhaps an angle grinder ... but the noise would be prohibitive. Not really something I want to do. Trespassing on a national heritage site is one thing ... breaking and entering is another.

Gutted, but good to find it, proof that research works!

http://i1050.photobucket.com/albums/s411/2001gti1/20161011_222201_zps7auusvgt.jpg
http://i1050.photobucket.com/albums/s411/2001gti1/20161011_222326_zpsr77iefs0.jpg
http://i1050.photobucket.com/albums/s411/2001gti1/20161011_222332_zpsconutkr8.jpg
 

The Kwan

Easily Led
Regular User
#5
Just been there. Admittedly was dark and late but since i was in the mood ..... the only access point is surely up the stairs from the road side. I had not seen this report before my quick reccy, wish I had, but it seems like all other entrances have long since been backfilled or built over.

As it stands at the moment there is a large steel plate welded over the entrance doorway. There is a few inch gap which I tried to take a couple of pictures through, sorry for quality. The only way in now is basically vandalism. Its not welded all around and if you happened to have a portable plasma cutter you could get in in just a minute by cutting through 4 short welds. Perhaps an angle grinder ... but the noise would be prohibitive. Not really something I want to do. Trespassing on a national heritage site is one thing ... breaking and entering is another.

Gutted, but good to find it, proof that research works!

http://i1050.photobucket.com/albums/s411/2001gti1/20161011_222201_zps7auusvgt.jpg
http://i1050.photobucket.com/albums/s411/2001gti1/20161011_222326_zpsr77iefs0.jpg
http://i1050.photobucket.com/albums/s411/2001gti1/20161011_222332_zpsconutkr8.jpg
Crikey mate it was dark looking at you shots :) as you rightly say though breaking and entering aint cool and Plasma cutters and angle grinders are not standard exploring kit :) hopefully you will get to see it at some point.
 
#7
Bad timing mate, it was sealed about two weeks ago, been wide open for a long time.
yeah gutted! Difficult to see this ever being open again really, i mean ... I don't think its near the top of any heritage organisations list of things to do right now. Would surely cost millions to make it 'health and safety friendly' by reopening other ways in /out or replacing the corrugated lining / iron framework - which would kinda take the history away anyway. Add to that H&S would surely demand modern ventilation system.

Shame ... this is an amazing report! a real gem of a site that will never be seen by the public.
 

the126

Reckless & irresponsible
28DL Full Member
#9
It's disgusting that a site with such historical importance is left like that really, maybe when the idiot in the house above pops his clogs someone like the national trust might take it on, like they did fan bay in Dover.

If not.. it got opened once, I'm sure it will again ;)
That bloke moved away about 2 years ago!
I think the whole idea of opening it up just ran out of steam, the people involved are all getting on a bit now
 

wander1er

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#11
anyone fancy a revisit then think again the front door has been welded shut then a thick steel sheet has been welded over that , I assume the person at the top who used to sweep the top staircase was fed up with up and wanted the site to themselves
 
#12
It looked like the door was gone, just the metal plate in its place, but i don't know what the original door looked like. Either way acces is going to be the same method,4 x 2 inch welds that need cracking, hacksawing or angle grinding. Portable oxy -acetalene a quieter option ... know any welders?!?! lol
 

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