This was my reward for a gruelling trip to Pyestock back in 2007. The day had started early, leaving Lancashire at about 6, picking up two other explorers in Manchester at 6.30, and then getting to Pyestock mid morning. After getting lost in the woods we eventually found access, and made our way onto the site. What an incredible place! I’m used to big facilities as I’ve spent my career in engineering and manufacturing, but this places was massive and just chock full of huge buildings full of machinery.
The explore was fairly relaxed, with Security largely confined to their cabin, and there were at least three other sets of explorers wandering round on the day, including one lot who we bumped into on the car park afterwards who we hadn’t seen on site, such was its size. The highlight was undoubtedly the air house, and I had to get this shot. This involved climbing several sets of ladders, then across a platform on the overhead crane that felt ever so slightly precarious.
While the rest of the explore wasn’t exactly an anti climax, I felt absolutely exhausted by mid afternoon. As the others went off to explore another building, I sat and rested, my tiredness a result of an early start, adrenaline, and prolonged concentration on the drive down. With another 4-5 hour drive north ahead of me, I needed a rest.
Suitably rejuvenated, we made a final stop to visit the famous cell 4, then headed back out, and headed north. My companions slept on the drive home, not a luxury I could afford as I was at the wheel, but I certainly slept well that night.
How do you react at work the following day when someone asks how your weekend was? ‘Well I sneaked into an abandoned jet engine testing facility where they helped develop the Concorde engines?” Errr, no, raises too many difficult questions. I think it was more along the lines of “Yeah, mowed the grass, did a bit of photography, how was yours?”