Report - - Pyestock - Santastock Edition - December 2012 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Pyestock - Santastock Edition - December 2012


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Visited with 50 people, about 40 dressed as Santa, and explored after with 6 non-members.

Whilst Santastock his its own separate thread and the facebook page, I haven't done Pyestock before, so thought I'd whack a report up. Given the amount of people there, I'm amazed that there hasn't been one already. You all know the history, but here it is anyway from wikipedia:

The National Gas Turbine Establishment (NGTE Pyestock) in Fleet, part of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), was the prime site in the UK for design and development of gas turbine and jet engines. It was created by merging the design teams of Frank Whittle's Power Jets and the RAE turbine development team run by Hayne Constant. NGTE spent most of its lifetime as a testing and development centre, both for experimental developments and to support commercial engine companies. The newly merged venture was nationalised. Pyestock, a former golf course in a secluded wooded spot between Farnborough and Fleet was chosen as the turbine development site, as the activities at the NGTE would be top secret and the surrounding woodland would dampen the noise.

Construction began in 1949 with small test "cubicles" inside buildings like the Plant House. When the possibility of supersonic jets arose, the site was expanded to the north west, with the Air House and several large test cells built circa 1961. For over 50 years Pyestock was at the forefront of gas turbine development. It was probably the largest site of its kind in the world. V bomber, Harrier and Tornado engines were tested on site. The power of the air house allowed Concorde's engines to be tested at 2,000 mph. Every gas turbine installed in Royal Navy ships was checked here; captured Soviet engines were discreetly examined. NGTE Pyestock closed down in 2000 and decommissioned to make way for a business park.

This all started about six weeks ago; someone mentioned a group visit to Pyestock on 28DL, and after not being able to make the last one, decided that it was pretty imperative to get in on this one, with people floating the ideas of everyone dressing as Santa. Fast forward six weeks, and I was waking up at 4am after three hours sleep and many beers, getting my exploring gear together with the addition of an elf outfit in my bag.


Another explorer offered me a lift up, so off we set at 5am. When we arrived at the car park we met with several other cars. Within minutes a security van pulled up. I thought it was the Pye security and a sign of things to come, but it was for the car park, telling we couldn't park there without a permit, and suggesting somewhere just over the road. Under the cover of darkness we made our entrance, with everyone but my bag scaling the fence swiftly. Soon enough, after some stealth, we had made it to the meeting point in the airhouse, with about 20 other explorers there with more to come.


After all 50 of us were there and some group shots were taken in the Airhouse we moved over to Cell 4, a march that needed someone whistling the Great Escape to or something similar.


Once that was complete people went their separate ways, some walking out to confuse secca, some continuing on. We continued on, heading back to Cell 3.




After a brief period of taking cover, we headed back through the Airhouse and then over the road to the Plant House. Having seen photos of the Airhouse and Cell4 so much, seeing somewhere I didn't recognise was a nice change.



Apologies for the F1.8 overkill, got a new lenses for Christmas



After we were all done we decided that we would try and find the plane, and then probably do one.


The first building that we came across was either the Fitting Shop or Cells 1&2, there was an office in the pitch black on the inside, but that was about it from the door we saw. We then crossed the Heras fencing and found a way in to the Power Station. I left my tripod on the other side of the building, so apologies for the lower quality of pictures for these two.



We then made it to the building that houses the plane (The Lab?) which wasn't as exciting as it was made out to be, really. Quick run around the building, then made our way back over the fence and away.


This was a great day and a great explore after the early morning festive laughs. Shame I was quite hungover, felt alright eventually though. It was nice to finally do such an iconic site, hopefully demolition rumours are just that, rumours, and I'll be able to visit again soon.

More pictures on the blog. Thanks for reading.



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