Having a blast?

An interesting one here, that came in this morning from our Clayhanger correspondent, Jeepboy. It seems things have been going bang in the night and it’s all a bit worrying…

Hi Bob

I wonder if you or any of your blog followers can throw any light on this :

For the past 3 years a loud muffled bang can occasionally be heard eminating from the site of the former rangers hut at the start of the black path in Clayhanger – at first it was thought to be a bird scarer but no sight of it could not be found.

Later it was suggested it might be something to do with the ST pumping station opposite – a chat with the engineers confirmed there was nothing that could explode at the pumping station though there was a heavy spring-loaded valve gate which would make a bang when shutting.

This sounded a plausible explanation until last Saturday – when for the first time I heard the bang at night and witnessed the almighty flash that accompanied it – demonstrating that it is actually some type of explosion. Any idea what it could be ?


I’m not an expert, and welcome opinions, but as I see it it could be one of two things. For there to be a flash, it’s either something igniting sewer or landfill generated gas – remember, Clayhanger Common was a landfill – or it’s electrical in nature.

sometimes electrical equipment in pumping stations can ignite methane buildups, but they’re designed to not do so, for obvious reasons. One would expect drain covers to be blown off by piston action if that were the case.

I do’t know if the (long gone) Ranger’s hut had an electrical supply, but I have heard of conditions where an underground cable is compromised and water gets in occasionally, causes a bang, and burns off without blowing fuses anywhere. Perhaps there’s an old supply cable somewhere nearby in the ground? Distribution fuses are notoriously tolerant of such issues. I suppose they have to be.

Anyone have any other ideas?

Comment here, or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

Untitled 3

Until Jeepboy mentioned it, I forgot the old Portacabin the rangers used. Originally is was the site office for the reclamation operation in the 80s, and the Countryside Rangers used it for a while. I don’t know when it was removed, and thought the site had been surfaced over. Google Earth shows the area still extant behind the hedge. Click for a larger version.

This entry was posted in News, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Having a blast?

  1. Clive says:

    I wonder if its the excess gases being burnt off at Clayhanger sewers!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.