The Winchester

"Not all those who wander are lost" – Tolkien

Bunker, Warrington

with 7 comments

January 2011

Following a rainy day in North Wales, I met with Jim Gillette and Agour, notorious ne’er-do-wells of the North West. Clutching packets of 3 for £1 tesco sweets and already sopping waders, we bundled down a hill towards a brick outfall that turned out to be a 30 metre pipe to an open brook. Wow. Sticking close to the bank of the river, we moved down towards the real deal, Bunker.

The outfall chamber resembles an oversized pillbox, with slots cut out, piles of leaves on the floor and the mandatory grafitti. The drain continues in an RCP and eventually a covered sewer pipe joins in, giving a high, square bottomed walkway to the R.A.E.L. Chamber.

Named for the sprayed on text between the two pipes feeding the chamber, the water cascades down the steps, (or roars, depending on the weather), and flows towards the outfall chamber. Fortunately for those caught up, Bunker has regular exit chambers, although lids differ between split squares and gatics. We were granted a pleasant night and had no issues whatsoever, allowing us to traverse all 3.5km up to the plughole infall.

The stairs were the next significant feature, aside from a few flights of stairs. Another infall at the middle of the tunnel, this feeds into the main flow through this chamber here, delightfully badly lit with a single flashgun papped off at various spots just out of shot.

We scrabbled around at the top of the stairs, down a couple of 5ft stoopers. Running is the best bet here, hoping that you don’t slip in the mix of silt and flow. The pipe is sufficiently small to allow your arms to push against the sides to keep yourself stable, and running reduces the time you’re hunched in the tunnel. Having consulted a map of the drain, we realised this led nowhere so returned to the wider pipe on the right of the photo above.

After a couple of staircases and a fair trek, we reached this plughole. Although not as sizeable as the plugholes in COTS, it made for a nice feature. Climbing the ladder leads to the vortex, a drop onto concrete welcoming anybody unfortunate or foolish enough to venture too close to the sloped shaft.

We turned and made our way back out, a tortuously long walk punctuated by occassional stops and another tumble into the shallow waters near the outfall. Happy days, it was nice to do the whole of this concrete, feature filled drain.

Written by Winch

January 18th, 2011 at 11:41 am

Posted in Drains

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7 Responses to 'Bunker, Warrington'

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  1. that is one sexy lil explore.. I want to take a bird down there nude


    18 Jan 11 at 6:55 pm

  2. The first drain explored in England. A lot of ppl dont like it, but for something found back in 1998, well before anmything else, its pretty damn good.


    18 Jan 11 at 7:59 pm

  3. Sweet photos, Should have popped one of the lids and walked back overground.


    18 Jan 11 at 8:27 pm

  4. Was a pleasure to do the full length with you Winch.

    The drain wasn’t bad either. Eh?! Eh?!

    Jim Gillette

    18 Jan 11 at 8:30 pm

  5. @S///

    It’s quite long, but it’s sure got features. big Steps, chambers, a plughole, regular cascades. I guess the lack of brick puts people off but it’s all drain, as good as any other concrete I’ve done.


    18 Jan 11 at 8:40 pm

  6. @Jim Gillette

    Fnar Fnar!


    18 Jan 11 at 8:40 pm

  7. I wish now that I had been there to explore the full length of this dark wet hole with you, Jim and Agour. I love nothing more than the satisfaction of finally getting in as deep as you possibly can do. Trying to stay dry, and in this sort of hole, not having to wear any rubber as such, you really feel it more.

    Nice photos


    19 Jan 11 at 11:53 am

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