The deep level shelters are something I’ve always wanted to see. That and the ‘ghost’ stations of the LU. It’s something I was researching long before I took up exploring full-time. I never thought I’d get to see one though, and although Clapham North was open earlier in the last year, I missed out on it, due to being spotted by someone in the flats opposite. I don’t think they realised what we were doing, but didn’t want us there either way.
When I finally got round to going back there was a shiny new padlock hanging off the door. Gutted!
Last year, I was discussing possibilities of explores with Analepsis, and he mentioned how the entrance to this shelter was currently surrounded by a building site. So, a week or two later, I got a text from Ratfink saying he was back about. Perfect excuse to get underground.
We had heard rumours of security on site, which is understandable really. What I wasn’t expecting were infra-red cameras and possible PIR’s covering every inch of where we needed to be. To make matters worse, it was pouring with rain. So, while seeking shelter under some nearby scaffolding, we discussed our options.
It was then security made an appearance. Standing at the corner of the site looking straight at us; it soon became clear he had overheard our conversation. Bugger.
We made a retreat to Clapham South station, and made it look as though we were going home. I hadn’t given up, yet. But at this point I thought we had really fucked things up for ourselves. Surely, he’ll now be sitting in front of his monitors just waiting to pounce?
It was time for attempt two. Our original plan out the window, we just went for it. Not before Ratfink worked his magic on the camera. We were in, and now making our way through the building site and over the obstacle course they’d created around the shelter’s enterance. A final pull on a door and we were in, silently making our way down the pitch-black staircase.
At the time, they were obviously still clearing the shelter from it’s last use as a secure document archive; the fate of many of the eight deep level shelter’s across the Northern Line.
Because of that, many of the original bunks and signage still remained. The bunks converted into shelving units by a piece of plywood, I lifted a few of these to expose the original bed springs underneath.