Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Photo Essay: The Midland Bank Vault #photography

I was recently at a leaving drinks party for a friend of mine who is going off to India to head up their operations. Normally, these are held in a bar or pub somewhere. So far so good. So I land up at the bar and look around for the usual cordoned off area where these kinds of parties are held. No sign. So I go and ask the barmaid. No idea. Then the doorman, no idea. Full slideshow here with higher resolution pictures.

Then I find a managerial looking officially bustling around lady who I collar. She says, of course, and takes me to the stairs, we walk down and it was the most amazing sight which I saw. What the hell is this? Turns out that this is the main bank vault of the Midland Bank when they had a big branch here. Now the building has been converted into a Pub. Can you see the size of the door, the thickness, the hinges, the bolts? Bloody hell. And the door is perfectly balanced so that it can literally turn on a dime!. It is so massive.

This is some kind of locking mechanism which would be in the inside of the door. I don't know what this is for.

The safes and the vault has been made by Chubb, one of the most famous security solution providers.

So I step inside the vault and after a sharp dogleg, there is this long corridor lined with more safes, then a room and then in the far distance, I can spot Philippe.

There are different sizes safe deposit boxes here. The holes showing where the locks have been removed.

There were two tiny rooms on the left side of the corridor, further blocked off by some serious ironmongery. Presumably the shelves inside were used to store big items or books or something?

Turning back just after passing the passageway, you can see the two rooms on the right of the passageway. The passageway itself is blocked off by this heavy steel mirrored door.

Then you enter into the room. Presumably this is where you would check out your ill gotten gains which you have extracted from the safe deposit boxes or something? The ceiling was very low. You can see the bar in the next room.

On the far end of the room, on the left hand side, is this strange looking barred window

Then moving into the bar area, you see that this was also a safe. Very strange. But now there’s a window shutter for you.

The locking mechanism of the window shutter. lol. Serious steel there.

The walls are concrete, and see those lines? Those aren't lines, but they are slabs of steel. Presumably this is so that drilling through the walls would be very difficult, also with the random angles of the steel slabs, one cannot really drill easily.
It was a bit strange, I have to admit. But extraordinary and I think I am lucky to have taken these pictures. Not sure how many banks would allow me to go in and take photos of their vault but its a great talking point.

1 comment:

Manish said...

Simply amazing - hats of you Bhaskar for the snaps and the description