Following the popularity of my Abandoned Mansions of London documentary produced for Beyond the Point – my heritage site co-run with Joe Mander, I decided to attempt shooting another short film of similar style exploring another piece of dereliction.
Again this film was shot on the DJI Osmo Pocket – an incredibly versatile pocket stabilised camera. After visiting the site with friend George, I carried out more-detailed research into the history of what I had found remaining from the Shotley Gate Naval Training Establishment in Suffolk – known as HMS Ganges. I came across some old footage and photographs made available by the HMS Ganges Museum which I included both in the film and below to highlight both the extent of disrepair the site has been allowed to fall into, yet also to demonstrate how its century-old infrastructure remains relatively unchanged.
The video has already proved to be a great success, achieving over 2,000 views within the first few days of release. It has been kindly shared and commended by the HMS Ganges Museum, IKS Exploration, and ex-Ganges trainees. Many of the ex-navy veterans who saw my video have praised its uncensored insight into the current state of the site, and have shared some of their poignant memories of training there at a young age – often stories of hardship owed to the school’s notoriously tough regime and staff. It has been great to be able to contribute to keeping their memories alive and help visualise the emotionally-charged spaces they once frequented.
The documentary even made a feature on local news site Shotley Peninsula News & Features. Whilst it does take a mildly-amusing cynical and somewhat misunderstood view of the film it should still be credited for helping it reach its appropriate audience. It can be read here. Perhaps they ought to produce an article investigating the negligent insecurity of the site which sadly has prompted its rapid deterioration.