We all agreed that we hadn’t been seen. But we were extremely lucky to be just within the framework of Cell 1 & 2
and were therefore obscured by the cell’s superstructure to be seen from the car. So, with security left to patrol the perimeter
of the inner fence, we felt safe to push our luck and spend the final hour in the main part of Cell 3.
I gazed down into the open chamber of Cell 3 and finally saw what everyone else had previously discovered and
been busy photographing. The Sahara doors were there; a flimsy set-dressing added to the metal solidity of the rest
of the cell. We’d missed it on our first trip because I’d peered vertically down into the darkened recesses of the cell; and then
passed underneath it as we explored the subterranean tunnels under the cell itself. So we relished the opportunity to spend time
in the cell and move into the diffuser section and exhaust gas cooler.
We left Pyestock as the sun started to set, exhausted but happy. (And no doubt everyone suffered from Pyestock-leg the
next morning, a sudden inability to walk due to the amount of climbing, walking, ducking and stretching involved). I was particularly
happy having finally discovered the Cell 3 cell and explored the confines of the relatively unknown Battle Test House.
I was soon drawing up plans for the next trip, one with a much smaller group, as I was aware that it was best not to tempt detection
from security twice with such a larger group.
I asked Alex what he thought about his first urban exploration trip. He felt it was like a disaster movie;
an end-of-the-world spectacular where civilisation was left to ruin. I fear I’d spoilt him offering Pyestock as his first
urban exploration experience but was glad he enjoyed the trip. The encounter with security was just the nerve shattering icing on the cake
that was needed; it’s good to have your nerve tested once in a while.
"By now our trips were becoming more organised and the blind wonderings from one interesting building to another were
becoming more formalised. It was becoming a matter of targeting one of the decreasing number of totally unexplored buildings,
or finding missed rooms or features in previously explored locations."
"The group was far too large and we almost got busted. Therefore the next trip was just Tom and I as we attempted to
push the boundaries further; which involved more cat-and-mouse with security in his car."
© Simon Cornwell 2008