Urbex: RNTR Arrochar

History, Uncategorized

RNTR Arroachar was a torpedo testing centre opened in 1912 with the bulk of its activity occurring during WWII when approximately 12,565 torpedoes were launched into loch long.

Arrochar torpedo base

The centre did not test ‘live’ rounds and was used solely to test the range of torpedos. Seven recovery boats were in action each day to recover the torpedos launched into the loch. Working torpedos were then transported to RNAD Coulport for war heading.

Arrochar torpedo base

Arrochar torpedo base

Submarines would often be pulled up alongside the jetty to conduct Discharge Weapon System Trials. RNTR Arroachar supplied torpedos required for the Submarine Commanders’ Course, on these days over 40 torpedos would be fired into the loch.

Arrochar torpedo base

For more history and some great archive photos see here.

Want more urbex – see my adventures in Urbex: AEI Cable Works.


Fun with Puffins (Lunga – July 2017)

landscape, Nature, photography, Travel, Uncategorized

Puffins spend more time at sea than on land. Most of the year a puffin lives out on the ocean, only returning during mating season. During this time Male and female puffins share the responsibility of building a nest for the safekeeping of their eggs.

Making a next

Puffins breed in burrows often making use of rabbit burrows to avoid having to dig one for their own use.


A puffins beak is only coloured orange during mating season. For the rest of the year the puffins beak is a dull grey colour.


Facing the wind

A baby puffin is called a ‘puffling’. A mother calls for her puffling below, on land Puffins are very talkative however at sea, where they spend most of their time, they are silent.

Searching for her Puffling

An average puffin weighs about the same as a can of Coke.

Puffin portrait

I’d highly recommend a trip to Lunga off the west coast of Scotland as a great way to visit these animals and explore all of the wildlife this part of the world has to offer!


Crypt of St Leonards, Hythe

architecture, art, B&W, History, photography, Travel, Uncategorized

The crypt at St Leonard’s is a very mysterious place, over 2,000 skulls on display either shelved or as part of a giant pile of skulls and thigh bones. No-one has been able to confirm exactly when the bones were first displayed in this manner of even why. However, what is known from recorded history is that the skulls have been on show for at least the last 400 years!

A bird nesting in one of the skulls. Luckily after death!

This pile is made up of around 1,000 skulls and 8,000 thigh bones. Theory suggests that the bones were put on display to travelling Pilgrims from the close proximity to the port town of Dover. A macabre shrine / tourist attraction on the way to Cantebury.
Pile of bones

This poor fellow died of a sword wound; interestingly you can see how the skull has tried to heal leading to the growth in the around the wound.
Sword wound!

Some of these skulls are over 700 years old. It has been assumed that these were mostly found in unmarked graves from the church graveyard, which due to space restrictions did not have gravestones. It was a common occurrence to find skeletons whilst digging a new grave. Why not put it on display?!
Over 700 years old!

A example of a bone tumour – not necessarily the cause of death.
Bone Tumour


It’s a good job the rest of the church isn’t so dreary!
St Leonards, Hythe

Credit to Jack F Barker for producing a guidebook explaining the small amount that is actually known about the crypt.

As one of only two ossuaries in the UK I highly recommend a visit: http://www.stleonardschurchhythekent.org/thecrypt.html.


Adventures in Ukraine: What’s left behind.


Its impressive just how much stuff has been looted from Pripyat over the last 30 years. Especially given the level of radiation and the fact that residents must have left most of their possessions as they were unaware they were not ever returning.

The buildings are littered with all sorts of items left behind after the evacuation.

The hospital

The supplies left behind.

Sterile...No survivors

Scraps of machinery and old mail systems litter a soviet surveillance factory.


The vents.

Forgotten memories in a child’s bedroom

Forgotten memories


Kelvedon Nuclear Bunker

History, Travel, Uncategorized, urbex

Kelvedon hatch is a cold war bunker built in 1952 to house approx 600 military and civilian personnel in the event of a nuclear strike. The bunker extends to 125 feet underground split over 3 floors hidden under a inconspicuous bungalow.

The audio tour lasts an hour or so and gives you an interesting and at times humorous look at how the bunker operated and what life would have been like in the event of a nuclear disaster.

After entering the bungalow its obvious that you are entering a secure site; metal cages and blast doors greet you as you march down the tunnel into the main heart of the site.

Entering a secure location

Snake?!? Snake?! SNAAAAKE!



Threats after a nulcear disaster come in many forms. The bunker was set up not just to keep government personnel safe from radiation but also from the civilian muties and raiders which would be after the food and resources after such an event!

Walking around the floors was like a step back in time; all of the technology and equipment was aged but in pristine condition looking like it was straight from the 80s.

Government control room 1960s

LED’s weren’t invented until 1962 therefore the equipment in the bunker had some interesting bulbs. The below was from a radiation detector which monitored the levels outside of the bunker. Each number had its own filament.

Bulb counter

Time is of the essence

Touchscreens save so much space!
Control Panel


This bunker was one of hundreds spread across the country, every district council had at least one nuclear bunker to ensure military and political persons would be safe in the event of a nuclear disaster to ensure that our democratic state could be maintained. Communication between these stations was vital to track the status and damage across the country.

Telephone connections

Like every sci-fi and military film ever, these boards are actually used to plot bomb damage across the country. I couldn’t understand how these were easy to view!

Mapping the damage


Given the limited oxygen and water supply eventual someone would have to leave to assess the outside world and the damage caused. The best thing about radiation is humans can withstand a small amount without any physical effects. These Geiger counters would measure someone’s exposure on a trip outside.

  • 25 units= no signs
  • 50 units= might feel a little bit ill
  • 75 units= maximum human exposure recommended over a lifetime
  • 100 units= just a little bit dead


After its decommission in 1992 the bunker now serves as a great resource for film sets. The grudge 4 anyone?

Horror film set?

Japan: The streets


The streets in Japan were alive with colour, sound , people and advertising. It was overwhelming at times and difficult to know where to look!



Dontonbori side street


Akihabara (2)

Before Akihabara become filled with manga, anime and other otaku culture it was a hub of underground electronic component stores. Some still exist if you look hard enough.

Akihabara Authentic

Things start to quieten down in the old streets of Kyoto.

Shirakawa Minami-dōri

Kyoto Traditional


Clay Pigeon Shooting


A great fun day out!

Difficult conditions with bright and cloudy skies. Combine that with the limited vantage points due to the H&S made for an interesting shoot.

Peace before the event.
The Cage

Guns are surprisingly ornate.
Elegant Power

The line of sight (practice makes perfect, in our case we need more….)
Line of Sight

Through the wire


View this in full size!
The Range

Safety first

Not normally a fan of the overuse of filters but felt like this really captured the intenisty of the moment.
The Shoot