Sunday, 22 April 2012

Fullers earthworks Redhill april 2012

This was a revisit after a rather pleasant day underground....
Visited with SpaceInvader Obscurity and Storm.

A greyish, mineral-rich clay, fuller’s earth is well-known for its absorbent qualities and has many uses. Its best known use however is as cat litter, of which millions of bags are sold every year. Most of this is now imported from the Americas but until recently, fuller’s earth was quarried from the Lower Greensand strata at Woburn (Beds.), at Baulking (Oxon.) and at Redhill (Surrey).
On the Redhill deposit, the most successful quarry operating at the turn of the century was the Copyhold Works of the Fuller’s Earth Union Ltd, established c.1860-70. Initially supplying the woolen trade, demand later shifted to the growing chemical and comodity sector with customers in the 1920s-40s including the Southern Oil Company Ltd, British Glues and Chemicals Ltd and Price’s Patent Candle Co.
In 1954 the works, by now employing 780 men, were bought by chemical company Laporte Industries. Production was stepped up to meet increasing demand and a large factory consisting of kilns, granulators, blungers, silos and transit systems on several floors was built. A large quarry existed to the east and in the 1970s this strange landscape stood in for various alien worlds in the BBC’s Doctor Who series. In the 1980s, the Copyhold site was sending loose earths and packaged cat litter around the world.
By 1995, however, due to falling profits it was announced that the company would close 10% of its 100 plants. Copyhold fell victim the following year and the Laporte Group ceased fuller’s earth production altogether in 1997. After the production lines were switched off, the 119 acre pit was purchased for use as a landfill site by Biffa Waste Services and continues to take waste from across Surrey. The factory was for a while used as a waste transfer station but this was abandoned at some time in the last four years and the site is now derelict.

















Trashed is not the word for the place but its still fun to take photographs of!Even if clambering up the top was a tad dangerous!!!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Cliffe Fort april 2012

Visited with Obscurity and Storm

Nice relaxed day lots of walking and a moment where we may have been told off for slipping under/between a conveyor belt..Nice little food break up top and no drams,Just a pleasant explore,and i love this place,allways looked at the pics just never got round to doing it,so when Obscurity said his plans had changed did i fancy a day out i jumped at it...

Borrowed history from underground kent


Quote:
Built in the 1860’s, Cliffe Fort is one of the three Thames Side Forts that were designed to defend that Thames Estuary. It was also built to work in conjunction with Coalhouse Fort in Essex to prevent a hostile fleet reaching London via the Thames.

Construction of the fort was difficult due to the marshy ground that the fort is built on; cracking and subsidence caused many problems for the men working on the fort. More surprisingly, this marshy ground was also home to malaria mosquitoes, which made life even more difficult for the construction work.

The fort was designed solely to cater for the armament of the day and the guns that were installed on Cliffe Fort were 12.5” and 11” RML’s, weighing around 35 tons. Protection of these guns was provided by granite faced casemates with shields for added defence. These shields, casemates and the rails on which the gun carriages stood are all still visible today.

In 1885, Cliffe Fort became the site for an experimental harbour defence system known as the “Brennan Torpedo”. This was the world’s first wire guided missile. Originally there were two sets of launching rails, but only one remains today. As progressive as this system was at the time, it was replaced 25 years later in favour of quick-firing (QF) guns.

Cliffe Fort remained armed throughout both World Wars, but was sold after the end of the Second World War to a local cement company. As a result of this, the fort has sadly been neglected and has fallen into a fairly advanced state of decay.
On with some pics




















Thanks for looking

Grain Tower Battery April 2012

visited with Obscurity and Storm..2nd part of our medway trip and apart frm the tide coming in really fast trying to cut us off from both sides and the causeway having parts missing with rather deep pools mening i had to do stepping stones over them it was another relaxed explore..
History borrowed again from Undergeround kent



The original structure at Grain Tower, built in 1855, was based on the earlier Martello Towers that were first constructed as a defence against Napoleon in the early 19th century. It stands off shore on Grain Spit in the Medway and the original tower was built of brick covered in granite. The fire from Grain Tower would support that from Garrison Point and would defend both the entrance to the River Medway and the sea front of Sheerness. The guns of the 1855 Tower were mounted on the roof and fired en barbette (that is, the gun is fired over a wall rather than through an embrasure).

In the early 20th century the tower was upgraded to be armed with two 4.7in BLs. In order to accommodate these guns a raised concrete and stone structure was built on the roof, which in addition to providing a platform for the guns, also provided shelter that could be used for stores and fire control. At the same time work was undertaken within the main body of the tower to make better ammunition storage to supply these new guns.

Shortly after these modifications a boom defence was constructed across the River Medway towards Sheerness. The tower became an anchor point for this boom, connecting it to Grain beach.

Further additions and modifications were made during the Second World War, in particular the large roofed emplacement that supported a twin 6pdr QF gun. Behind this was a directing tower and a light emplacement. The biggest addition at this stage was the barrack block; it was made of concrete and stands on stilts with access to and from the main tower.

















Thanks for looking

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Fan Bay Deep Shelter Dover 2012

This was supposed to be easy as i've visited twice and was sure i knew where entrance was..i didnt even listen to the google earth map i sent urban ginger instead insisted i was right ..so after a few phone calls from Space invader and deciding to wander a bit further round we where in....
History from underground kent...

This shelter is at the site of Fan Bay Battery, a WWII site originally comprising 3 x 6" guns with associated magazines, shelters, plotting room, administration and accommodation areas. Today only traces of the gun pits can be discerned among the undergrowth, and all surface buildings have been demolished. However there are still extensive underground remains at this site, the largest being the deep shelter.
However there are still extensive underground remains at this site, the largest being the deep shelter, constructed in 1941 No.172 Tunnelling Coy., Royal Engineers, which can still be accessed via a hole in the ground where the upper entrance once stood. Completed on the 28th August 1941, it was designed to accommodate 4 officers and 185 other ranks.
All of the stores, weapons and associated metal was removed during the mid 50’s by Bird’s Commercial Motors Ltd














Thanks for looking