View Full Version : Archived: Optimus Prime - Feb & April 2010 Visits

crippletron 3000
13-04-2010, 11:58 PM
OPTIMUS PRIME - First visited by Ojay & Solo1 in February 2010.

Re-visited by Ojay, Gone, Rookie & Urban Soldier.

I decided to go back and get some better photos as originally they weren't great due to the size of the place and that I had inadequate lighting for this beast (It's F*****G HOOJ!).....

(Apologies for some of the initial rubbish pics I have included).


Highlights and Lowlights of the re-visit

- Rookie falling in at the Weir

- Me & Gone wadering further into the unknown (and sinking fast)

- Urban Soldiers tripod WIN

- Oh and the psycho rats 'running' at us downstream and some lovely spiders thrown in for Gone, hahaha, check yer rucksack dude, they often climb in and multiply.


I had actually been wanting to get down here for some time, and believe me was well worth every minute (X 2). The sheer size of this place is incredible!

Wadering up was pure comedy in the middle of Manchester with people passing buy...LOL

First explored by Solo1. This massive culvert was built to allow the River Irk which was arched over and the river bed paved in 1901 as part of the station extensions to pass under Manchesters Victoria Station. It is roughly 1km long and has a number of interesting features.


- A number of CSO's

- Bricked up tunnels/arches

- A wooden cattle bridge 25 feet below Victoria Station

- A coal chute and a morgue chute (nice), where dead cattle were once loaded onto barges

- Sandstone blocks that they had to build the original station around.

We did originally explore some of these, one was an overflow from a trunk sewer up-stream, the other leading under the land that once occupied Walkers Croft Cemetry.

Having wadered up we entered the monster which is 'Optimus Prime' at the infall. This was rather tricky free climbing down a fall in the weir, its one hell of a slippy drop down with some serious flowage! After a few hair raising minutes (for ME not SOLO1) we were in.

On the recent visit, it's been made somewhat easier ;) (Nuff said) although its proper deep and fast flowing, infact Rookie even slipped under..(SHIT).

It's also pitch black in here and the roar from the Weir is crazy. It's seriously difficult to light up due to the size of the place and the saturation of light with all the brickwork. It didn't help that I originally left my head torch at the infall with the excitement, and even dropping my Maglite into the Irk I still managed to get some half decent photos.

After crossing the Irk to the other side (which was no mean feat) with serious flowage at nearly chest height at times and dragging me with rats swimming by, Solo1 also informed me of, and I kid you not some 4 foot albino pike, which sadly didn't come out to play, maybe next time. (Sadly on the re-visit we still didn't get to see it).

The water levels were far lower this time round (thank fook) as it was the only thing putting me off a return visit.

It's once again amazing to see what goodies are buried deep below Manchester, especially the wooden cattle bridge which is a 'MUST SEE', as well as the original bridge near the outfall and the various Victorian CSO's on the way. (Watch this space).

I have included some of the original photos, as well as the recent ones just to show the difference, (Manual focus was a real bitch first time around).

The Weir where the level drops 2 metres at the infall


Pill shaped CSO


First CSO we explored, leading to and through sewerfresh eventually to an inspection chamber with a manhole about 20 ft up


This runs through it and out into the Irk



Wooden cattle bridge, 25 feet below Victoria Stations platforms. This once linked Long Millgate with Walkers Croft


One of the original bridges that was overground before Victoria Station was extended


Reppin' the Culverts


Thanks for looking :thumb