GES062 - Sands Quarry
Having wandered around the excellent W Quarry, GE031 drove us to the famous subterranean explorers hangout, The Quarrymen. There GE031's relative was dispatched back to this family, and GE031's family turned up. We after a pint and absorbing the great view, it was off to Corsham.
The Bath & Portland Stone company started quarrying Bath stone in 1890 until 1912. It fell out of use along with the rest of the Corsham quarries, and was requisitioned by the War Department during the Second World War.
Very little conversion was carried out in the quarry by the War Department this was because it was only used as an emergency exit. Sds joins to the lower part of Spg Quarry which was at the time an underground aircraft factory. Reflected arch ways and torch points were installed leading people, in an emergency to the surface. Sds is a fairly small quarry connecting to the Southern end of Spg Quarry, it is only about 4.6 square miles. (Source:Nettleden.com)
As we drove through Corsham, we passed the main military base and the entry to the grail of UK exploring, Burlington, The Governments hidey-hole for armageddon until the 1980s. GES031 pointed out the doorway in the small hill that is the main entrance, through which London Underground escalators take you deep underground. Predictably the sign on the fence says 'MOD Property keep out.'
We drove on and parked up, then wandered through some woods until we reached a slight rising in the woods. At the top of this was a fenced off slope down into the ground. The fence was facing a losing battle to all the explorers who'd been down. Once through the slope ran down before us, with helpful steps to one side, leading to a locked metal trellis gate.
Once inside, there was more of the slope down to the bottom level of Sd's Quarry. Carts would have been pulled up here with the stone mined in the quarry during operational times.
This was clearly rather popular with the local grafitti taggers, as there odious tags adorned the walls. A section lead off into the gloom. The red stripped bars form part of the escape route from Spg Quarry.
And then we finally reached the door that leads to the door that leads to Burly City. The small hole that others had used in the past to get through, had a wooden board across it. Although this had a 'here's Johhny' style gap in it. It's on the centre left in this photo. Along with the visible metal mesh woven into the brickwork. The red door on the far right was the original fire escape door.
The MOD keep a close eye on this hole, and any damage is recorded and held to be used against perpetrators. Although I couldn't get my slr lens through the hole, I could just see through into Spg Quarry. It led to a small area about 4 or 5 metres across, and had another red door. Both this door, and the one into Sds Quarry were sadly bricked up.
The rest of Sds Quarry went off to the right into the darkness, but this door was probably the best thing about Sds Quarry.
As we got back to the bottom of the slope, the climb lay ahead of us back to daylight. The grooves where the rails that the carts went up still clearly visible.
A winch like device left in some woods not far away.
Out of the woods, and out of danger, it was back to Bath, ahem, via a wrong turn. Still, I got back home with still a bit of football left to watch.
A HUGE thanks to GE031 for today.