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Main Stores (405)

Built: 1951
Decommissioned: 2002

It's surprising that this ancillary building, namely site's Main Stores, should share space on this website alongside the unique test cells, control rooms and cooling towers. But it was an important supportive building during the lifetime of Pyestock and after closure it managed to become slightly infamous (but not for its structure or history, but for what it contained).

As a storage building was useful during the construction of the first phases of the site, itís no coincidence that the Main Stores was one of the first buildings erected. Additionally this ensured the Main Stores was near the southern entrance, so deliveries didnít have to venture far into Pyestock itself.

Its structure was simple: a double storey central hall traversed most of the length of the building and was the main storage space; it was flanked either side with single storey side rooms which offered specialised storage areas (such as the glass store) or were converted into laboratories.

Externally the building was a squat elongated steel framed shed with brick walls for the side rooms. All the exposed metalwork was painted in Pyestockís signature blue. The central hall had a heightened ceiling allowing axial windows to be installed in the first storey.

It turned out to be a popular design, as the building's form was repeated again to the north (as the much longer Main Workshop).

The northern end of the Main Stores was the site's Fire Station. External double garage doors lead into an interior parking bay where the fire engines would patiently wait. Given the nature of the testing at Pyestock and the sheer amount of chemicals and combustibles on site (not to mention the large quantities of aviation fuel) an on-site specialised and fully equipped fire service was an absolute necessity.

The northern end of the Main Stores with access doors for fire engines.
31|03|07 © Simon Cornwell 2007

After the closure of most of the site in 2002, QinetiQ rented out the Main Stores to FAST at a peppercorn rate for storage of items for the museum. After Qinetiq sold the Pyestock site for redevelopment, FAST had to find another home for their collection but I wonder if some of the items now found in the Main Stores were left behind from this period. Although this doesn't really explain the full sized Farnborough Kestrel plane which still sits in the main hall along with its sister (which is in a small side annexe).

It's thanks to these planes that the Main Stores was elevated in status by urban explorers, and became much more than just an empty storeroom in the south western corner of Pyestock.

Main store room in the Main Stores looking north.
31|03|07 © Simon Cornwell 2007

Stores Walkthrough...

The southern end of the Main Stores with a substation (404) to the right The north eastern corner of the Main Stores View from the south east corner of the Main Stores South east corner of the Main Stores looking west towards the second plane Southern end of the Main Store's main hall and looking south east towards the second plane Main storage room of the Main Stores looking north Northern view of the small workshop in the south west corner of the Main Stores South west workshop looking north east across the main bay of the Main Stores Looking south in the south western workshop of the Main Stores North view of the glass stores in the Main Store
Western side-entrance to the Main Stores looking east The door into the main store room from the western side entrance Main store room looking south The vandalised Farnborough F1 plane Chairs, desks, museum displays and models left in the Main Stores Northern view of the north west workshop in the Main Stores Looking north towards the end of the main store room Concorde display left in the main storeroom Final shot of the main storeroom looking south east Equipment and furniture left in the northern part of the Main Stores. Northern view
Looking north standing on the elevated stairway over the empty bays where the fire engines were parked Looking south across the empty fire station