Report - - Portsdown Fuel Depot - Portsmouth - November 2018 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Portsdown Fuel Depot - Portsmouth - November 2018


Camera Drowner
Regular User
It was all going so well.... Visited with @Brewtal

Built in the late 1930 by the Sir Robert McAlpine’s construction company, these bunkers were intended to provide a protected and bomb-proof supply of fuel oil for the navy based at Portsmouth.
The network consists of 3.2km's of tunnels and are 37m's deep and had a capacity of 137,700 tonnes of furnace fuel oil.

The Explore

Starting at the top we worked are way down the long tunnel and past the banks of storage tanks. Now only half the complex is accessible as to get to the tunnels on the opposite side would involve getting into one of the tanks and getting up and the other side, and that wasn't going to happen.

The Photos

It was all going well, so we decided to tackle the partially flooded pump room in the middle. It was about 2ft deep and consisting of 99% water with a thin layer of black oil on top. There is actually a mains water pipe that's just running all the time slowly filling up the room. We did try and turn a valve to turn it off but it was well seized up good and proper. That little bit of oil on the surface made the whole place sticky, sludgy and downright disgusting, not to mention any nasty gases or fumes too.

We whipped out our waders and started to carefully wade in using big sticks to feel for things on the floor that would trip us up. This included holes, big cables, random bits of sheet metal etc. We managed to get to the other side and up the stairs to the other side.

@Brewtal 's top notch plan to protect his tripod from the oil using bin bags and black tape. Not sure if it actually worked but it looked good!


There were a few cool pumps and a steep set of stairs up the surface that was sealed off at the top. We started to go back down through the pump room and back out again. It was a bit smelly and horrible so I didn't want to spend too long in there as the air wasn't great, but I'd decided to go a slightly different way to take a couple photos of the pumps from the opposite side we came in. Camera on Tripod in one hand, big stick in the other I waded back in and started taking shots.

Now this is where it all went a bit wrong. Not realising that the floor wasn't the same height all the way round I found myself suddenly swimming when the floor dropped off all very suddenly. My big stick to feel the way forward had failed me. In I went camera and all splashing about. Fortunately I seemed to float surprisingly well so kept my head above the water and didn't swallow any of the nasty oily water.

I pulled my self back out and quickly went round and back to the ladder and up to the dry tunnel. Feeling rather stupid, I dried myself out as much as I could, but I was still completely soaked. To add insult to injury I managed to then also drop my favourite head torch onto the concrete floor which then died on impact (Any excuse to buy more torches eh...). My camera was completely soaked in water and oil, so I was pretty sure it was R.I.P camera.

With me feeling like a bit of plonker, we headed back out again. We bumped into a group of teens trying to get in who were most amused by our miss-adventures.
It was a cold drive home.



Luckily my Camera backpack was bone dry inside, so all my other lenses were good :thumb
Now some of you might already have seen this as I put the photo up of my camera on FB and Reddit asking for help, and it seemed to explode with with people either being sympathetic, shocked or stunned by my stupidity, all equally valid opinions.

Well, the mighty Fujifilm Lives on.


So what's the moral of this tale?
Eat more peas?


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Amazing!! Been here my self and didn’t manage to make it to the stairs, climbed over the big machine and used the tyres your probably found in the oily water as a bridge, so glad I finally know what’s on the other side of the stairs! Thank you!!!