Report - - (Old Files) Portsdown Fuel Bunker (East) - May 2017 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - (Old Files) Portsdown Fuel Bunker (East) - May 2017


Hilariously under-equipped since 1999.
28DL Full Member
Hello lads, I'm back with the fuel bunker again, although this one is... Different.

I should probably explain. The photos in this report are from May of 2017, clumsily lost in a little place called the recycle bin. Yep, welcome to why Rainey failed his I.T exam. After ridiculing myself, I recovered every photo I took back on the day I ventured into that bunker. So here they are, in all their glory. All I can say is, these won't be up to my 2019 standard, but considering the fuel bunker is sealed tight on both the east and west sides for the foreseeable future, it's worth putting the 'boring side' of the system in here too.

For my report on the larger western system, click here: https://www.28dayslater.co.uk/threads/portsdown-fuel-bunker-west-november-2018-to-february-2019.117176/#post-1234804

THE HISTORY: Built in 1938, at the same time as it's western counterpart, the eastern 'service' tunnel system of the fuel bunker was apparently purpose-built for maintenance of the gigantic fuel reservoirs and the various piping within. Sporting the same full concrete lining and 22ft bomb-proofing, the tunnel itself is only about half the width of the western ones and is far less complex, with only one access point (a second southern compound) and no other tunnels branching off from the main route. This tunnel probably would've seen far less use than the western tunnel, which was under much more constant use until FFO was phased out. However this tunnel was still subject to the various re-fits throughout the fuel bunker's life, with the same 70s-80s fluorescent lights and fuseboxes found in this tunnel.
It's final use likely would've been when the bunker was temporarily re-activated during the Falklands War. It's doubtful it would've seen any further use afterwards, unlike the western system which was used for training fire crews until both sides of the system were finally decommissioned and sealed in the 90s. I do not know if the fire set in the western system affected the power supply in this one, although it didn't seem to work when we visited.

THE LOCATION: Compared to the western system, this bunker was in far, far better condition when we visited. The lighting, electronics and even the huge air filtration system were all largely intact, with graffiti being way less prominent as well. The tiles in the floor that spanned the length of the tunnel were all fairly solid. The only thing I did notice was the minor flooding further into the system, although it isn't likely to have done any major damage. Access was simple, taking us through a path in the bushes, a hole in the compound fence and through the bunker's front door. There aren't any other ways into this tunnel. This tunnel has not re-opened since it was sealed in 2017, unlike the west one, which re-opened again.

THE EXPLORE: Thankfully, my memory serves me very well on this. At the time I'd already been wanting to find the fuel bunker, so me and two of my friends at the time headed up to the bunker's location. We discovered both south compounds, the west portal being sealed and the east one being wide open, so we jumped right at it. It was my second explore well... Ever. I was pretty under-equipped in terms of torches and my friends were terrified, but we felt pretty damn proud after going through the whole tunnel and not managing to die.
Not long after, we'd go on to discover the way into the western system before it was sealed in late 2017.


As I've said, these are quite old and won't be up to standard, so try to bear it I suppose.


The entrance beckons.


The air filtration system:

Due to having only one entrance, this tunnel couldn't rely on a draft like the western system did. Hence requiring a much beefier filtration unit to keep the air going through the tunnel. Air was pumped through a pipe attached to the side of the unit (which was laying on the floor next to it) and through a hole in the side of the tunnel, just beyond the blast door. If I recall correctly, there was a large shutter as well to open and close the hole.
Note the graffiti near the switch that says 'wait 20 secs', I'm guessing it was made by the bunker's operators. Either telling them to wait for it to spin up, or wait for the air the pump through the tunnel to a safe level.


The main tunnels:


This is what would've met the operators heading into the system.


Coming up to the first bend.


The section between the two bends was lightly flooded.


The second bend.


The section past the bends, with the reservoir access points visible.

The reservoir access points:

Dug out into the side of the main tunnel, these points gave maintenance crews access to the fuel reservoirs and also the piping inside them. I don't know how they would've worked though. These are much simpler than their western counterpart, with no giant ladder shafts, valves or any other systems. There's a reason they called this side of the system the 'boring side'.



Every access point contained one of these pits. Presumably for seepage.

Reaching the end:



These holes began to appear further down the tunnel, near the end. Oil leaks from them for some reason... Should've licked it.

Making our exit:

Once we'd reached the dead-end, we hastily turned around and made our way out, somehow still terrified despite there being no reason to be. It did make for a decent shot though.


Are we dead?

That's it from me lads. As much as I'm a clumsy twat who lost his old files, I'm glad to have found these, since now I've documented both tunnel complexes of the Portsdown fuel bunker system. These tunnels wouldn't really warrant a return, given they aren't really that much compared to other places, but I'm sure I will return if the chance ever arises so I can get better photos. My attention now has primarily shifted to the last bit of the bunch, the pipeline, but that's something I'm yet to try.

Thankyou for reading.

- Rainey
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