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CEGB Structural test centre

Location: 
Cheddar, Somerset, UK

I've been looking forward to my trip to Chedder for a while for two reasons, one of them being this:


The now disused National tower test centre/Structural test centre operated by CEGB/Nuclear Electric until a few years ago.

After having seen it from somewhere near the centre of Chedder, I picked my way through a number of residential roads and finally found the access road. Expecting a fairly long uphill walk, I was surprised I could drive right up to the gates.

I parked up a little way down the road and walked up to check out access, then promptly hid when I saw the 50' concrete tower with 3 CCTV cameras pointing at the two bottom entrances, but given the rest of the site I wasn't just going to leave it at that.

On finding a way through into the site, I came up beside the tower, and found none were covering the back of the site, so onto the photos :)

There were three main structures left on site, one fixed gib crane mounted on the quarry wall, a "mobile" rail mounted rotary crane, and a normal fixed tower.

The mobile crane was made up of a triangular base, each corner with wheels on, and the crane body mounted on the outside corner, supported back to the other legs.
As this took all the load off to one side, this was used to counterbalance it.

I really wasn't up for climbing the 20' to the
bottom of the ladder alone so I confined myself to the ground which only had the track motor cabin :|

The fixed tower looked like it had been used for drop testing equipment as it had two guide rails down the centre, but is currently being used to support the end of the jib.

The fixed jib crane was presumably used for assembling the pylons for testing (If you look on Google Earth, a pylon base is visible underneath it)

The site also contained a number of buildings that look like they were for admin, training or just workshops, but these had been stripped and had evidence of being done up.
Some had tools and equipment left inside, but I have no idea how recently they were used.

There were also plenty of these nuisances around to keep me on my toes :|

After all that, the views were amazing, especially from the top of the quarry were you could see to the horizon