Hello, my name is Callum Cromwell in the past coming months I have been visiting remains and ruins left from WWII and the Cold War era.
I am a night photographer and Urban Explorer but my main interest subject in it is WWII or Cold War structures left from the past.
More info: Facebook
After seeing this place online back in 2016 I decided to head out and check the site out, as I got there the sun was going down and it was getting dark seeing as it's in the middle of nowhere I had no fears but decided to do a bit of light painting. When I arrived at the site there were 2 giant green gates with nothing stopping urbexers from getting in on either side of the gates with a 20ft pile of rubble, I'm guessing from the previous buildings which were on site which was demolished! As I entered the site not knowing what I was walking onto I noticed a series of dumped derelict cars (I'm guessing the person who owns the site is into scrap metal), but that didn't put me off I carried on and explored the site for 30 mins after I explored the site it seemed like it was safe to get the camera and tripod out and do some light painting. The site is pretty interesting and the history behind it knowing it was part of the nearby Checkendon which I recently explored. Further down the road from the Maintenance Area are Blast Shelters scattered across the woods on the side of Long Toll in Woodcote. RAF Woodcote was home to 70MU (Maintenance Unit) from 1941 to 1959. It initially served as an Equipment Dispersal depot to support the war effort. The site was selected due to the number of wartime airfields in South Oxfordshire and the various training sites in the area and along the River Thames. The woodland also provided perfect camouflage from the air. Four separate sites were constructed and were located alongside country lanes. Just a few roads away from here is the Former Checkendon Camp which used to be part of this base until it became an Italian POW Camp then later on a displacement camp. Then a mile away from Woodcote you have the Former Bishopwood Camp in Gallowstree Common with plenty of hut bases and a Stanton Shelter and a Sewage Works Building. Kenny lands Camp which was next door to Bishopwood Camp was demolished and there is not any remains standing.
Type 22 Pillbox
Nice little location out in the countryside outside Reading Berkshire. This photo was taken before a misty dawn start to the day.
Bishopwood Camp Steps Ruins Of An Evacuee Camp In Sonning Common
Former Raf Shinfield Park Site
Inside Bishopwood Camp Stanton Shelter
Wwii Air Raid Shelter, Earley Gate Reading
After hearing about Air Raid Shelters at Whiteknights Park I decided to get up and start looking for them, after many attempts going through the woods looking for air raid shelters or remains I finally found them tucked away close to Earley Gate. There are 3 Air Raid Shelters I know of on-site one is a white square brick building near the prefab WWII buildings the others are red brick. The red brick ones are not accessible and there is no chance of getting inside while the white brick one is accessible and always has been from what I have been told. Inside not much remains mainly just full of junk and an old bicycle but the weird thing about the air raid shelter was the power it worked! History These three air raid shelters sit on the site of the Former RAF Reading now known as Earley Gate. During the Second World War, part of the park closest to the Earley Gate entrance was used for 'temporary' government offices, and several ranges of these single-story, brick-built, corridor and spur buildings still stand. WWII air-raid shelters from the dispersal of the Civil Service from London to safer areas. Each shelter would have had its own lean-to bike store. The recent demolition of one of these has brought to light the original Ministry of Works signage.
Raf Crazies Hill (Rare Type Cantilever Pillbox)
Seeing as it was a clear night I decided its time to cycle out to the UFO Bunker in Crazies Hill, Henley. Going down country lanes in the pitch black and not hearing or seeing any cars about just animals. as I arrived there I noticed something new they have turned it into a sheep field, but that didn't stop me I decided to climb over the 2ft fence and photograph it, not much has changed since my visit three years ago. as I was light painted it I had company sheep and lambs they kept coming up to me while I was trying to do light painting but that didn't bother me, as I looked up at the sky you could see the milky way the sky was very clear! Even saw shooting stars! The only remaining defense structure is this cantilever pillbox. It is a great change from the normal type 22 pillbox and quite an interesting building in itself. Further down the fields, there are also several original buildings standing. RAF Henley-on-Thames is a former Royal Air Force grass-strip airfield in Berkshire, England, located near Henley-on-Thames. It was also known by a variety of other names: Cockpole Green, Upper Culham Farm, Crazies Hill, or Crazies Hill Farm. The site was used to assemble and test Supermarine Spitfires (produced locally by dispersed manufacturers in the Reading area), and as a Relief Landing Ground for RAF White Waltham and RAF Woodley. It was built in late 1939 and closed in October 1945. In 1944 No.529 Squadron moved to RAF Henley-on-Thames from RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. This squadron was initially equipped with autogyros but in the spring of 1945 they took delivery of the new American Sikorsky R-4 helicopter (known as the 'Hoverfly' in British service), RAF Henley-on-Thames becoming the first RAF airbase to host an operational helicopter squadron.
Type 22 Pillbox In Grazeley
Two Type 28 Pillboxes In West Berkshire
Positioned back to back near the River Pang.
Roc Post In Streatley
Royal Observer Corps Monitoring Posts are underground structures all over the United Kingdom, constructed as a result of the Corps' nuclear reporting role and operated by volunteers during the Cold War between 1955 and 1991. In all but a very few instances, the posts were built to a standard design consisting of a 14-foot-deep access shaft, a toilet/store, and a monitoring room. The most unusual post was the non-standard one constructed in a cellar within Windsor Castle. Almost half of the total number of posts were closed in 1968 during a reorganization and major contraction of the ROC. Several others closed over the next 40 years as a result of structural difficulties, e.g. persistent flooding, or regular vandalism. The remainder of the posts were closed in 1991 when the majority of the ROC was stood down following the break-up of the Communist Bloc. Many have been demolished or adapted to other uses but the majority still exist, although in a derelict condition.
Raf Woodcote Building No.16, Amwd Rest Room
Bishopwood Evacuee Ww2 Camp
Bishopwood Camp in Gallowstree Common & Sonning Common is a place I have been visiting since I was 16, when I first went back in 2016 the site was overgrown and hidden away, later on in 2018 they started clearing away a lot of overgrowth on the ruins of the camp. After seeing a post online that the Former Polish Refugee Camp is set for demolition for new homes I decided to head down to the site and photograph the ruins at night before they are demolished. The trees and overgrowth around the ruins are now all cleared with two of the chimneys demolished and a Stanton air raid shelter near enough dugout. Its a shame a big piece of Sonning Common is being destroyed for new homes. When I entered the site I was surprised by the amount of work they have done and it no longer looks the same compared to how it did. The nearby RAF Woodcote Camp and the Italian POW Camp in Checkendon are also set for demolition. RAF Woodcote is another site I have been visiting since 2016. They will be missed and only photos will show people in the future what was there. Kenny lands Camp was demolished many years ago and now has a care home on the site of the former camp, the only thing that remains from it is an air raid shelter hidden away behind a load of trees.