Monday, 21 December 2015

Alpha Tunneller

portsdown hill radio abandoned bunker Today Jof had to go to work but us boys didn't. So we did what any self-respecting un-chaperoned chaps would do, and got up at 1030. It was a relatively slow start to the day but once I'd had Breakfast 2, we got in the car and drove north.
A few short days ago, we took a train to Southampton, from which I was able to see the abandoned military fortifications in Hilsea and nearby, that we used to visit from time to time, even taking Ben once.
portsdown hill bunker So we went to the Paulsgrove chalk pit which is the massive cliff you can see from the motorway, extended in height since they reopened the quarry to get the chalk to build the motorway flyovers and embankments, enabling you to be high enough to see the chalk cliff.
investigating tunnels old militery fortificationsOf course, it was raining and the wind was far too strong but that didn't deter us. What it did do, was make the whole area very slippery so we had to try 3 different routes to climb up the cliff wall to enter the old world war 2 radio station bunker.
There are many warning signs about falling rocks and there are quite a lot of rolling boulders littering the base of the cliff and a little one did indeed come down past us but once we were inside we were safe, if muddy and chalky.
Last time I was here we found some playing cards and 10p in one of the recesses in the bunker but what we found this time was graffiti of limited inventiveness but much rudeness, of course the first time I climbed up here I was 3 and unable to read it out loud.
underground bunkers defensive positionsThe descent (in the howling wind) was hairy, as were the 2 dogs that greeted us as we slithered down the slope and I fell down and banged my bum and got prickled by the gorse and we were too muddy to go to Pizza Hut for lunch so we went to the Hilsea Lines.
vaulted brick bombproofed ceilingsThese abandoned military bunkers and cannon-ports are great places for dog-walking and graffiti-spraying and having parties with cider cans and I first went there when I was 2 but I didn't do any of those activities.
We went to the old favourite which is a massive gun room with stables and gunpowder stores and a cookhouse and drifts of bricks but the pallet truck we found last time had gone. See "The Castles of my Dreams" page of this blog, link on the right of the page.
hilsea lines defensive fortsBut this was only a basic tunnel investigation to keep ourselves in trim so we walked back over the railway and drove home, where we changed our clothes which were comically chalky and muddy and wet, but that is what boys are. I'm sure puppy dog tails are involved somewhere.
Lunch was at the Harvester because I understand it. I had 2 bowls of salad for openers, some child-size goujons and another bowl of salad for dessert. This left me free to play Capture-The-Flag on Minecraft for the rest of the day, an epic day off for me.

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