This was an excellent idea. Ever since I noticed the exhausts stacks had catwalks and handrails on their summets,
I knew there was probably a way onto the roof. And that would allow some excellent high shots of the site.
So we all agreed it would be a good idea and left the banging loud turbine hall and the two explorers on the gantry,
and made our way outside. Via some external steps, we were soon on the lower flat roof and walking to the second set
of steps to the main turbine hall roof.
As I started to climb the second set of steps I looked north. As expected, I was in full view of
Sigma. Unexpectedly there was someone outside, who walked back inside as I watched. Had I been seen?
I remained motionless on the ladder, the wind whipping up around me, roaring in my ears. If I’d been seen, then it
would take them five minutes to get out here. Five minutes would be enough to get on the roof, get pictures, get off
and disappear again into the depths of Pyestock.
Once on the roof, I quickly made my way to the exhaust vents. The view was superb but the wind was now howling
and the pipes themselves were uttering a low gutteral moan as the wind whipped over them. The hand rail was making
it difficult to compose any shots of Pyestock but I managed to get a couple.
Tom and Marlon were now alongside and Tom had pulled out some
fresh crusty bread and humus. One of the perks of urban exploration: eating lunch in utterly bizarre places.
I took a shot and then noticed something. "Oh damn, that’s security isn’t it?" Marlon came over. "What?" he
yelled above the wind. "There. That gatehouse office. That’s security. We’re in full bloody view of them." Not that I’d
ever approached that section of the site yet, but the gatehouse looked active and the barrier was down. Security
had to be there otherwise QinetiQ and Sigma employees wouldn’t be able to get off the site.
So far, we’d been potentially seen by a Sigma employee and security. And for some reason,
we were all so relaxed that it really didn’t seem to bother us enough to make us leave the
Air House roof. Anyway, it was warm and sunny, if not a little bleak,
and Tom’s impromptu lunch was certainly tasty.
A police siren sounded in the distance. “Guys….” The siren got louder. “OK, right, we’re leaving this roof now.”
Normally distant police sirens wouldn’t concern me in the slightest, but coupled with the fact we were on a roof
limited our options somewhat. I wanted to get back on terra firma with the three degrees of freedom that allowed.
Not cornered on a roof. With a crusty loaf. And some humus. That would be too silly for words.
"Let's eat in the Plant House control room."
On the roof of the Air House looking east.
31|03|07 © Simon Cornwell 2007