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Author Topic: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham  (Read 63502 times)

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Offline MedwayDweller

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2010, 22:06:11 »
'Scuse my ignorance but whereabouts are the tunnels actually situated, i.e. where would I be standing if I was positioned directly over the tunnels? Also, what used to occupy the site where the recently built university campus now is in Medway Road. I see what appears to be an old small brick sentry building has survived and can be seen close to the road.
nostalgia's not what it used to be

Offline swiftone

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2010, 20:16:24 »





Offline kyn

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2010, 11:44:03 »
The two towers before redevelopment of the site.



Offline kyn

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2010, 11:31:13 »
A remaining base of one of the wooden towers on site



Offline kyn

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2010, 13:47:01 »
And another of Keith Gulvin's photo's.

Offline kyn

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2010, 15:13:25 »
A photo taken by Keith Gulvin in the 1980's before the smoke and fire damage.

Offline Mutley26

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2010, 01:12:55 »
It's great to see the various pics throughout this forum of HMS Wildfire.  As a local schoolboy back in the 80's, the site was know to my friends and I as "Seven Floors", as local legend had it that there were indeed some as of yet further undiscovered levels to the workings.

My first trip inside took place early '88 when the site was relatively unscathed by vandalism, to the extent that the glass was still in place on the viewing platform to the map room and indeed there were still maps present on the large position table.

Unfortunately each subsequent visit revealed a greater level of vandalism, with my last being sometime during 1990, at which time I witnessed the damage caused by fire.

Wildfire and Fort Bridgewoods were the venues of my childhood that initiated a lifelong interest in Subterranea.  Shame neither of these sites still exist, yet the memories of hours spent in excited glee and some nervousness exploring shall be with me forever.

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2010, 22:38:47 »
 "but i certainly remember them. I remember the one nearest Medway Road lying horizontally, before the construction work on the new MidKent College campus began."

I have a photo of that, and just to show what History actually means to these people, the one you saw is still there, bulldozed into the Wooded area and laying in a tangled mess like firewood.
The transmissions that went through that are unthinkable.
Infact the debri that lay in the wooded area pre the Park and Midkent College, is still there, they never actually touched the debris at all.

merc

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2010, 22:37:10 »
I've found some pics on the Sub Brit website: http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/sites/w/wildfire/index9d.shtml

Merv

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2010, 14:37:15 »
Not being into the Napoleonic Dream of Amherst and the Lower Lines, and more in favouring the recent History and the parts played I have a request.
Does anyone have any photographs to the Lower Lines in Medway Road showing it with the two Towers which supported the Long wire Antenna?

Offline kyn

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2009, 21:39:42 »
Some memories...

"While I was there in 2003 I toured the dockyard and spoke to the Navy Historical Society and they knew nothing about any tunnels, much to my surprise seeing there is such a historical connection with the navy and WW2. I was in the RAF 1954/57 for my national service and worked down the tunnel as as wireless op in conjunction with with civilian Admiralty teleprinter op,s and Navy wireless op,s. We had AN HQ known as RAF Element Maritime HQ Chatham located just by the main entrance to the tunnels which WAS just by the "back gate" on Medway Road. The second entrance to the tunnels was in the Admiralty House grounds alongside the historical lines- ( the house I understand has sice been demolished along with a lot of other stuff) Looking at he maps on yours and other sites I see that there are some blank spots and the old RAF areas are not specified which I can understand as I am sure it was all changed when the RNVR came in to use it. Most of the other info was from a Navy point of view which I understand - we RAF guys were a curiosity in my day from 5000 Navy bods! one site that gave me a fair bit of info was HMS Pembroke page 2 on "ganges to terror" run by a guy called Les Burrill.and some from the Medway Archives these sites have photos and aricles which are quite interesting. From my point of view I,m sure there must be people in Gillingham who worked daon the tunnel who would have a story to tell , If they are still alive that is! What surprises me as has already been said, that with such a big historical connection, dockyard,NAAFI up the road (now A Hotel) WW2 battle of Britain connection and the lines themselves, nobody thought to open the tunnels to the public instead of vandals! As for any stories I,m not too sure if I can remember it all now and they could offend some people!"

ali23

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2008, 21:59:05 »



















Offline kyn

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2008, 18:35:15 »
I overheard some people talking at the Chatham World Heritage meeting the other day and one guy was asking a EH guy about RAF Gillingham.  He said he believed it to be HMS Wildfire  but the EH guy had never heard of it.  As it turns out the guy was kind of right.  RAF Gillingham was a camp next to the tunnel complex and they shared the tunnels!  Here is a quote from Peoples War by the BBC

"It seems strange after Cranwell to be back in civvy billets. We are accommodated in homes, but just for sleeping. All meals are at the RAF camp. Our signals section W/T (Wireless Telegraph) and teleprinters and radar is part of a huge underground complex shared with both the Army and Navy. We work on a shift system which involves a long night duty of 10 hours. We are kept very busy but as operations are all highly secret, messages are mostly in code except for the long reports which are sent out after operation."

Offline kyn

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2008, 14:35:04 »
Newspaper clipping help at Medway Archives


Offline kyn

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2008, 10:01:06 »
Welcome to the forum Archer  :)

I'm glad we have reminded you of something good and shown what it's like now!  Wildfire has been a source of fascination for many explorers and locals for a long time, it was pretty amazing to go in and see it for ourselves.  It is a shame some parts are fire damaged but not too badly.  Most of the complex was preetty messy but all in all i thought was in pretty good condition.  I would love to see this place opened up and reused its an important part of history, especially with the dockyard and naval barracks close by.

Which area's of the dockyard did you spend time in the most?  There are so many interesting area's down there, and many more tunnels i would like to see!

 

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