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Report - - Walkabout - Southampton - Mar 2018 | Leisure Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - Walkabout - Southampton - Mar 2018

Thebfg

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
I have finally managed to write my first report, not only my first but possibly the first report for this building. Apologies if there is one hidden on the site somewhere.
I visited with another member, my usual Exploring partner @Martin Hollins, we went to what is locally known as the Walkabout.

History

The current building was built around 1940, the previous one received class D damage during the second world war. It was then demolished. The current neo classical design was designed by a young AV Heal for the Bank of England. It was to be the first branch in the provinces in over 100 years.

bofe orig.jpg

photo courtesy of sotonpedia

It was built with two levels of basement the lower one containing a gold vault, this was to store gold, we believe it was planned to be brought here from South Africa during the war. On this level there is also an independent ARP shelter with its own ventilation. The upper basement held a similar sized treasury vault.

The building was later extended. There is currently four floors and a mezzanine level, to the rear of the property is staff accommodation including a manager's flat and 6 bedsits.

Around 1986 the branch was closed and I believe becoming a Lloyds bank. By 1994 it became the locally famed Australian theme bar, Walkabout. After they collapsed and a management buyout it became Wahoo in 2009 at this stage many bars and nightclubs at that end of the city centre struggled and many closed.

Wahoo had its own difficulties and became Elements, by 2015 it was permanently closed.

There is currently a planning application for a 120 bed student accommodation, they are going to retain the front of the building and use the basement and vault as a communal area. There are rumours the sub basement may be opened to the public.

The Explore

Walkabout was a popular high street bar and we were two of many sad people when it closed it doors for the last time, we have hankered on about exploring the place with it also being a former bank for quite a while.

After a few reccies using the conveniently placed multistory and the usual hours poured over Google maps, we finally came up with a plan. We believed correctly that the actual building would pose no issues getting in however we needed to get into the rear beer garden, A beer garden I actually never knew existed thanks to there being no smoking ban at the time. This is surrounded by a very high wall and buildings on two sides, with a very tall gate, which is welded shut at the end which was also happened to be covered by a councils live monitored cctv camera. But with a cunning plan carried out with great efficiency we got in.

The bar and the basements were our main targets but the rest of the building was absolutely massive with some great exploring, even if covered in pigeon poo and the left overs from some squatters. We failed to actually get to the gold vault or the air raid shelter as the sub basement is flooded. A return visit has already been planned to get in there.

My apologies for some not rather inspirational pictures but it was very dark so I couldn't really hunt down those magic shots and I am still learning how to use the camera properly but to be honest i wanted to actually enjoy this explore as it was our No.1 on our to do list.

The Photos.

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The former Treasury Vault, which became a large beer cellar
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and finally thanks to the daily echo one picture of it in its hey day.

walkabout inside.jpg



I look forward to critique and feedback.
 

FreshFingers

Choose life, choose tunnels
Regular User
#2
I thought that was the Star Hotel further up for a moment, thats a run down shit-hole too. In fact, they took the beds from there looking at the one in the picture!
 

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