Report - - South Atlantic building on Merseyside | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - South Atlantic building on Merseyside

The Kwan

Easily Led
Regular User
Thought I would share this one, visited with sephiroth

some info

The South Atlantic Building, Vittoria Dock Complex, Birkenhead was Built: by W.H. Boase & Company Ltd about 1960 so not very old by all accounts its purpose was to be the Wharfingers office for the Blue Funnel line and it remained so until Blue Funnel left in about 1970 when it was taken over by in 1998 by the Royal Marine Reserves, Merseyside and Royal Marine Commando's Liverpool Detachment who eventually left for a newer base in Liverpool.

on with the pictures, I am afraid that there was not alot to see but it was a joy to make the roof for the view.

The clock dismantled for a renovation that never happened

The main reception in the South atlantic building..ding dong hello campers

with its security installation that has been out of action for a while.

The emblems remain but the marines and commandos have moved on.

The locker room that was still in good shape

Keepin your Deets in here

view from the roof with HMS Plymouth slowly corroding in the dock.

The tower from a previous visit can be seen in the backround and then further on is liverpool, the clock in the basement lived on this tower.

The marines Bar

Dogshit Dez the barman..mines a pint

and function rooms

for the takings

some rations

clock knob ed


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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Good to see SAB again, I wonder how it looks now 5 years on since your visit ?

Photo 1 - Looking down towards "Cow's Corner" with SAB in the background, this was where some of the Corporation Road prostitutes would tout for business, on numerous speed marches down Corpy Road they actually used to flash at us as we went past... even the fat ones ha ha - Some unscrupulous individuals used to draw a CWS (Night Sight) from the armoury with the specific intent of using it to watch the prostitutes in action from a distance at night

Photo 2 - No idea where this was, never seen it in my time there

Photo 3 - Looking out of the "The Shipkeepers Office" into the Foyer - The shipkeeper was ex-services, usually Matelot (Royal Navy) unhelpful and miserable as sin, particularly with recruits - There was a glass cabinet here next to the main door with relevant sporting trophy achievements - I think most were Judo ones ? The Mic you see here was used by the Shipkeeper to relay announcements across the whole building "Now hear this, now hear this" would be the start of the message and 'that is all' would the end of the message

Photo 4 - The Shipkeepers office inside, he actually got Sky installed early 1991 to help ease the boredom ;)

Photo 5 - This looks like the recruitment office on the 2nd floor (?) opposite the Cpls and Marines mess, or was it 1st floor ? This was the 'nice' environment for potential recruits to watch 'Life as a reservist' videos before they applied, did the aptitude and physicals tests, got attested at which point the shouting started

Photo 7 - This looks like the old RNR side of the building, RMR had the right hand side of the building (up until the early 90's) and the RNR (Naval Reserve) had the left hand side of the building - Sometime mid 90's that changed and the recruits used to get changed in the old RNR locker rooms, this was to keep them separate from the trained ranks who got changed on either the 2nd or 3rd floor (can't remember) of the right hand side of the building

Photo 14 - Corporals and Marines Mess, the Sergeants mess was next door past the kitchens and armoury - There was also an Officers mess on about the 5th floor

Photo 15 - Stood here many a time waiting for a pint, always cheap as chips, I got hammered in here as a recruit when I was 17 on bottles of 'K' cider after parading near Hamilton Square for Poppy Day - Good times

Photo 16 - Top left of the picture through the arches housed a pool table, lets just say pool wasn't the only action those tables seen with ladies pulled on a run ashore in Birkenhead

Photo 17 - The "Galley" next to the armoury, had many sausages / bacon butties prepared in there that had been doing the backstroke in grease

Photo 18 - Combination lock outside the armoury, the armoury itself had a hatch in the door that your would draw your weapon through, as a new recruit it was like looking in a sweet shop window with the vast array of weapons on display :)

Can I just correct something as below ?

"when it was taken over by in 1998 by the Royal Marine Reserves, Merseyside and Royal Marine Commando's Liverpool Detachment who eventually left for a newer base in Liverpool"

It was more like mid-80's when the RMR took it over, they moved from Morpeth Dock further down the road, it was about 1998/1999 when they moved to Liverpool I believe, I left in 1997 and they were still at Vittoria Dock then - Anyway, thanks for the memories

The Kwan

Easily Led
Regular User
Thanks for the very concise info UnoHoncho, I am glad that the pictures brought back some memories :) The picture that you do not recognise was in the basement and the bits of clock are from the Hydraulic pump house on the four bridges.
Thanks for taking the time to comment in such detail :thumb


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Aha, the faceless clock! Makes you wonder how/when did it arrive at South Atlantic Building - I drove down by Corporation Road the other day and the life has been sapped out of the area, all but two of the dock pubs survive (The Bluebell and the Vittoria Vaults (The Piggy), I can count a dozen that I used to frequent that have now closed in 25 years. The prostitutes no longer walk the streets, many of the houses there have been demolished but none rebuilt in their place. I'm actually surprised that South Atlantic building has lay empty for nearly 20 years without being demolished, there was actually talk in 1990 about it being closed down but the RMR remained there for another 8 or 9 years.

Like I said, good memories, sad to see it in a state of disrepair but it helps to rejuvenate some of the memories again :)


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Could it be restored Dave ? They have properly smashed it to bits, make a good jigsaw puzzle for someone at least ;)

The Kwan

Easily Led
Regular User
The idea was originally for a YOP or £23.50 brigade to refurbish the hands and numerals but as you can see it did not happen which is quite sad really but it would be nice to see them re used.
Truth is that Peel want ulta modern, you just need to look at the buildings that they are putting up around the tower, I dont think they are sympathetic to history or the docks as they proved with HMS Plymouth and HMS Bronington, just their own ambitious developments matter to them.

scotty markfour

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
visited this building after gaining entry onto the trailer park , ground floor windows n doors boarded up , saw a couple of padlocked wooden doors under the tunnel bit in the middle which would only deter casual lookers like myself !!!!! ...i went into a warhouse full of steel looking for another way in , but i heard a loud audible click n thought i had tripped a silent alarm ? as we made our way back out a security van (presumed) appeared behind us as we casually slipped away

The Kwan

Easily Led
Regular User
Thats a shame that it was closed up, I heard that there are new 4g masts on the South Atlantic building now, but the steelworks is most definately still live.
Wonder if the clock parts from the hydraulic tower are still in the basement.

Urban Shinobi

im looking to explore this asap.. i know where the alarms are located and know of 2 ways in . one of them not known by security

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