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Return To The Bunker | by tj.blackwell
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Return To The Bunker

My set of ROC shots has been getting quite a few views lately (perhaps partly caused by a recent BBC article about one of these in the Peak Districts which was sold on eBay). This photo was was taken late in 2008 when I returned to the fascinating shelter buried deep beneath the rolling Yorkshire hillsides of Wharfedale. For more in-depth info about its history, check out an image of this bunker's surface apparatus or a facinating documentary clip from Reader's Digest (highly recommended).

 

I'd been down there in a fairly brief visit on a previous occasion but Trev and I spoke to the landowner and offered to clean the place up in exchange for a fascinating time sifting through all the old paperwork and cold war artefacts. It was a truly unique challenge trying to shift heavy bin bags of old polystyrene and assorted rubbish up the narrow vertical access shaft, but somehow we managed it! The bunker looked much better for the spring cleaning session so it would be remiss of me not to post a couple of shots to show the fruits of our labour.

 

There's unfortunately a bit of a sad post-script to the bunker's story. Upon re-visiting, it quickly became apparent that people had recently broken in by cutting the locks. The owner hadn't had any trouble with the place in all the years the land had been in his possession and it seems my photostream shed a little too much light on the place. They stole the BT Teletalk comms box that was down there when I last visited, which was a real shame. I've got big respect for true urban explorers, whose motto is "take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints." Unfortunately the individuals involved in this case are just plain crooks. Anyone out there considering a repeat performance should know that all the paperwork and other items have now been taken away to a safe place, so it's no longer worth breaking and entering.

 

Photographers: go forth and explore marvellous places; wonder at their intrigue and strange beauty, but leave them as you found them so others can experience it too.

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Taken on October 25, 2009