The Sixth Expedition
Ok, this is probably the tenth expedition really. We went up there a few times before this, and didn't really do anything at all, just had a look round. One of the things we noticed on one of these trips was the hole in the fence and the padlock we chopped had been fixed. Other than that, nothing eventful or fun happened. Some of the trips are mixed together here, mainly to make things easier to understand.
It wasn't until this time that anything useful happened. It's Saturday, the 26th of May 1999, and five of use decide to go up there is two cars. We're carrying the usual complement of tools and gear, and this time I'm bringing the digital camera. Our original intention was to go to Netherne, but some bad incidents made us not go there (details in the Netherne section).
Our first port of call was the swimming pool. This is an outdoor pool, which we've been in before (like a long time back), but we wanted some pictures. There used to be a gap in the fence which you could go through and be on the poolside. Unfortunately, someone had fixed this using a large bit of ply and about 50 nails, so we decided against going in because some of the people with us aren't particularly versed in the art of urban exploration. The one thing that was open was the small plant room that lies outside the pool. All it has in it is a filter, heat exchanger and some other equipment. The heat must have been supplied from the boilers in the boilerhouse. Well, I got a few pictures anyway.
The heat exchanger
Well, we decided to go to the tower area after this, just to have a quick look around. Not much had changed since the first time we had been there, no major new damage or anything, apart from a panel on one of the doors had been kicked in. We would come back to look inside though, we had other things to look at today.
A nice view of the tower
The chimney at sunset
The first thing we had a look at was a small plant room which had a smashed louvred door leading outside. The others with us were edgy and didn't want to hang around, so we just took a few pictures. The machine looked like a compressor or something, with a piston and big tank. Could be for the hospitals air system, but normally this is run from oxygen cylinders, and the filters didn't look substatial enough.
Next up was the tunnel entrance we found last time. We lifted the lid up again, to have a look down. We still had no means of descending into the depths, but a bright idea allowed us to have a not very good look down into the depths for the first time. By taking off my belt and tying the camera strap on, we lowered the camera into the hole and took pictures using the self timer. Although the belt wasn't nearly long enough, and we had no control over where the camera pointed, we managed to take some pictures that verified that they were indeed proper tunnels. I'm only going to put two of in the tunnel here, one as it was taken, and the other with the brightness turned up so you can see the tunnel extending into the distance. There were quite a few pictures, but mainly of pipes and bricks....
The unsuspecting drain lid.
The entrance to the tunnels
A picture as it was taken
A bright picture showing that it is a proper tunnel
This provided a fair amount of excitement amongst those of us there who cared about it, but we couldn't do much more that day with the tunnels so we moved onto the tower. The door had been fixed after our initial kicking down, so we tried again, and it was just as easy as last time. We opted not to climb it as we had no torches and it took a long time to do. I took some pictures of the ground floor. I noticed that some of the big water pipes vanished into a hole in the floor, but it was far too small to go down.
Some of the water pipes
The stairs and breathing apparatus boxes (empty)
Some live switchgear, possibly for the transmitters
The "gas chamber" with odd pipe
The courtyard behind the tower
It was getting dark and the others really didn't want to stay there, so they left. Two of us stayed behind and we spent a while lifting up drain lids and looking in the buildings around the courtyard. The drain lids yielded nothing except grazed knuckles, but we found that the kicked in door lead into the laudry where we could see some very big scary machines. Also, we found a glaziers workshop with a lot of glass, but we didn't have any pictures left on the camera, so we left shortly after.
Onto next page!!!!