HM Prison Blundeston – Norfolk – October 2016

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mockney reject

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The history

HM Prison Blundeston was a Category C men's prison, located in the Village of Blundeston in Suffolk, England. The prison was operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service up until it closed in December 2013.

Opening in 1963 with four wings. Blundeston Prison was initially used for the holding of prisoners sentenced to Preventive Detention of between 5 to 14 years because they were judged to be 'incorrigible rogues".
Most were transferred from HMP Wandsworth and found the different regime at Blundeston challenging as most of their time was spent in lightly supervised association with other prisoners.

There were a small number of escapes in the first year including one in which a prisoner cut through his cell window bars creating a gap approximately 12 inches wide by six inches high. He was a prisoner of significant girth and achieved his escape from his cell on the first floor by saving his daily margarine ration to provide lubrication to ensure his success. He managed to cut a hole in the prison fence and pull back the cut wire to delay discovery. Escape from the prison was made easier by the non-existence of an additional internal fence and the lack of CCTV cameras that were not brought into the Prison Service generally until after the Mountbatten Report (1967). There was also the failure of staff to carry out a full check of the integrity of the bars because it was generally understood that the window bars were uncuttable. Another prisoner who was a member of the Inside Garden Party that was under the supervision of an Officer who had deployed the inmates at a number of separate locations which meant that he did not have sight of all of the prisoners all of the time. The prisoner used a spade to hack his way through the fence.

In 1996 the prison came under intense criticism after six inmates escaped whist being transferred to other jails. The escapers had allegedly been running their own 'criminal empire' at Blundeston before their transfer.

Before closure, accommodation at the prison included 4 wings of single cells and 2 wings of 2 or 4 man cells. The therapeutic wing had single cell accommodation. Blundeston provided workshops, training courses, a Listener Scheme and a full-time Resettlement Officer. The visitor centre was staffed and managed by the Ormiston Children and Families Trust with facilities including a refreshments area, toilets, public pay phone and play facilities for children.

On 4 September 2013, the Ministry of Justice announced that it intended to close Blundeston Prison by March 2014. The prison formally closed in December 2013. The closure of the prison led to criticism from local politicians, including planning proposals to allow the site to be used for a large housing development. The Ministry of Justice stated that intended to sell the site for redevelopment by the end of 2014, however the site was finally sold in January 2016 for £3 million to Badger Building. The developers are now asking for ideas for the former prison site to be submitted to them before they release planning proposals.


The Explore

Well this kinda happened by accident, as these things often do.

Having visited Bullwood hall the day before and been kindly fucked off by the security and the un-leashed dogs running around inside the prison, myself and a non-member found ourselves in the Norfolk area a little tired and a little hungover after a killer party and we had a look at the map to see what was in the area.

Well I’d see the various permission visits of this place so thought I’d have a go at it.

We looked at it this way, if we got there and people were on site we would have been willing after the drive to have paid and had a nose around. I mean after failing at one prison it would at least have been nice to have a look around another.

HMP Blundeston is oddly placed as it’s right on the edge of a housing estate so we had to not make it obvious what we were up to.

After a quick wander around the perimeter fence we had decided it was a bit of a no-go and there was no easy way of getting in. Well sat outside the main gate having a moments rest I had a what if I kinda moment and soon found myself inside the main compound albeit a little battered scratched and bruised….. I then made my way to the main gate and simply let my accomplice in.

Well this place is pretty damn cool and in great nick (pun intended)

It appeared that the prison has been added to over the years and updated as required to create more space for more prisoners.

There are posters all over the place that are part of the guided tours explaining what is what and what was each area was used for, These are quite interesting to read. There are also loads and loads of airsoft pellets all over the site where games have been played in there.

All in all we had about 4 hours in there roaming free and it was a nice chilled explore.

The contractors haven’t started on the buildings as of yet but the foot pitches are being pulled up so get over there quick if you want to see this.

As always enjoy the pics, Sorry it’s a little picture heavy
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Tbolt

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Bloody chuffing splendid.
Good work.
 

Hugh Jorgan

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Nice photographs and nicely recorded. Well, yes there's a lot of pictures but it makes the post interesting.
 

Bones out

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Really enjoyed that one so I have.
 

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