Tower blocks

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Steve
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Tower blocks

Post by Steve » Sat Mar 20, 2021 9:38 am

I don't know about anyone else, but Pirate Radio turned me in to a Tower Block nerd! I can't go passed one without wondering or looking up.

If I had the time and a full set of keys, I'd be on the roof of everyone exploring them, even though I have no intention of ever putting a station on again.

I have been trawling through these photos all week.

click the pic to view more.

Only found a couple of shots on the actual roof. Plenty of photos of roof tops but from the taller nearby blocks rather than on the actual roof.

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Re: Tower blocks

Post by fmuser877 » Sat Mar 20, 2021 11:11 am

Now days they seem to be used for community FM radio.

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Re: Tower blocks

Post by Steve » Sat Mar 20, 2021 11:29 am

I think half of my interest is in the different designs, ways of access, layouts of the roof and lift room. Pirate Radio created my interest so still plays a part in my thinking but it definitely created a side interest in tower blocks, a curiosity to see more.

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Re: Tower blocks

Post by Casual » Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:38 pm

This is such a geeky/niche yet great thread! Big up Steve! :tup

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Re: Tower blocks

Post by sinus trouble » Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:59 pm

Steve wrote:
Sat Mar 20, 2021 11:29 am
I think half of my interest is in the different designs, ways of access, layouts of the roof and lift room. Pirate Radio created my interest so still plays a part in my thinking but it definitely created a side interest in tower blocks, a curiosity to see more.
I absolutely love this thread! :)

I totally understand the passion you have for these sites! Very few get to experience the adrenaline rush and stunning views from a Roof top!

Pirate radio has given me some of the greatest memories!! All thanks to my close friends who allowed me to be a part of it! :)
I am as stupid as I look! :|

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Re: Tower blocks

Post by Steve » Thu Jun 17, 2021 4:53 pm

Radio ignited an interest for me in blocks, no doubt. They are all so different, different layouts, access and if you are trying to hide a rig there's so many potential options to look for and use. The buzz of finally gaining access to the roof was a good one for me. When you walk out for the first time and survey the prize...

I genuinely would love to explore every block if I could.

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Re: Tower blocks

Post by Albert H » Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:49 am

I was involved with one of the very first stations (in the early 70s) to use tower blocks. Before that, we'd all come from private houses or from field sites - usually with aerials up trees, and the rigs run from car batteries.

We were probably also the first to use an "out of band" link to allow "live" broadcasting from a concealed studio......
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Re: Tower blocks

Post by teckniqs » Mon Jul 05, 2021 10:24 am

I got involved in radio around the mid 90s and things were so much easier back then with many blocks still without intercomms and a simple FB key entry for the roofs ..... how times have changed!!

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Re: Tower blocks

Post by Steve » Mon Jul 05, 2021 7:06 pm

Drop keys and FB's when I was at it, got more and more difficult with alarms, cameras and concierges appearing as time went on. H Keys appeared around when I packed up.

But my interest in tower block roof design and access is still alive! I feel the urge to gain access to look, without even having anything to do with pirate radio anymore.

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Re: Tower blocks

Post by teckniqs » Mon Jul 05, 2021 7:34 pm

Yeah the first H (gerda) keys I saw were on blocks around Hackney/Dalston ways back in late 98/early 99 sort of time.

....But that never stopped us we were able to obtain that key straight away. Nowadays they all have mag locks which are much harder to get through resulting in stations in those areas having to use much smaller blocks.

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Re: Tower blocks

Post by Steve » Tue Jul 06, 2021 4:50 am

First Gerda I saw was on the Beaumont estate in Leyton. They really didn't like pirates on those blocks, CFM 96.6 were on the front one and Climax 92.9 were on the one down the back at the time from memory. Lovely blocks, Waltham Forest really was a mecca of prime sites.

I'm that out of touch, I haven't even heard of mag locks being used, but I'm intrigued! A quick read seems to point towards Grenfell being the reason for their introduction? Surely there still has to be some kind of Fire Brigade release and therefore a key or Master fob reader of some kind somewhere?
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Re: Tower blocks

Post by Steve » Sat Jul 17, 2021 7:44 pm

Just had a tip to check out BENO on YouTube and only watched one video, the Rainham Tower one and it's exactly what I'm interested in. He explores all areas of blocks!

https://m.youtube.com/user/benobve/sear ... ower+block

Interesting stuff for an ageing nerd like me...lol

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Re: Tower blocks

Post by Steve » Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:27 am

I realise I'm replying to myself which is a bit weird, but further to my last post, having watched 63 videos on that YouTube channel and now seen mag locks in use on quite a few blocks, seems to be mainly Tower Hamlets at the moment.

I have some thoughts on them, It seems when you call the council they look at the relevant camera, you flash your ID and they release the mag lock.

I have seen phone lines in a few lift rooms, I'd guess they dial the number for the block, then probably push something like hash or star to pop the lock. So getting the phone number for the lift room would be the key!

Another option would be to drill a small hole that can be disguised when not in use and fashion some kind of bar with a couple of bends that can be threaded through and hit the door release button. That would obviously be reliant on finding the door release buttons location.

In one of BENO's video, I forget which one but the door on the stairwell still had a cage on the side and you could see the mag lock release button, he just pushed a bar through and opened it. 😂 They may have blocked that now, but a small hole drilled in the same location that they don't know about and you have access again.

I realise given that I'll probably never be on a block again and FM pirates are disappearing this is all quite pointless, but I do sit here thinking about random shit sometimes.. 🤦‍♂️ lol

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Re: Tower blocks

Post by mpx » Wed Jul 21, 2021 5:08 pm

I watched some of BENO's videos. Interesting and funny. He gets excited

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Re: Tower blocks

Post by sinus trouble » Sun Jul 25, 2021 12:39 am

Haha!! Beaumont Estate!! I remember it so well, Just a few minutes walk away from me and could be quite a dodgey area to find yourself in at times!

But yeh those blocks were huge!
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Re: Tower blocks

Post by whitenoisedb » Mon Jul 26, 2021 6:07 pm

The Flickr & Beno's videos are great, if these were available 20 years ago it would've saved so much time! I do like exploring blocks, just like Steve my interest in them started from pirate radio. After obtaining some keys I do have a look around when I can, am lucky to travel a lot around London for work so if i've a spare hour i'd rather be up on a block roof than in a coffee shop!

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