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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and the eerie postwar jet engine site

Updated: Aug 29, 2018

The opening sequence was filmed at the Pyestock site in Hants. Check out these surreal images taken before its demolition


Is that an Indominus rex? No point running; you're already dead. Photo: Matt Emmett


There was a time when the Pyestock site was meant to be top secret – not during the filming of Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom – but 60 years earlier when it was testing jet engines for V bombers, Harriers and Tornados. Every gas turbine for the Royal Navy was put through its paces, Soviet-captured engines were reverse-engineered, and giant wind tunnels could simulate flight up to 2,000mph at an altitude of 65,000ft.


Photo: Matt Emmet, www.forgottenheritage.co.uk


The noise alone would have blown its secret, let alone the supersize traffic coming and going into the vast woodland near Farnborough. This was technology that would usher in the jet age, and facilitate the birth of Concord.

Photo: Matt Emmet, www.forgottenheritage.co.uk


Sadly, Pyestock closed in 2000 with the advent of computer aided simulations, and before long it became a concrete memorial, a 'must-see' industrial graveyard for an emerging generation of urban explorers such as photographer Matt Emmett.


Photo: Matt Emmet, www.forgottenheritage.co.uk


Winner of the Historic Photographer of the Year award, Emmett says he is drawn to the total lack of distraction in the stillness of a derelict building:


'The sound and movement associated with people or workers has been removed. For me this makes them far more sensory than when they are occupied.'

Photo: Matt Emmet, www.forgottenheritage.co.uk


Location scouts soon clocked Pyestock's futuristic sci-fi appeal, with Red Dwarf, The Bill and 2005 Cruz/ McConaughey thriller Sahara, making use of the ready-made set (ngte.co.uk).


In February last year Universal Pictures hired the site to film the action opening sequence of Jurassic Park: Fallen World where a guard opens the gates to the Jurassic World Lagoon. Using the film's working title Ancient Futures, producers warned that peak traffic would include "150-200 cars, shuttle buses and 20-25 lorries".


The facade of Lockwood Manor was built nearby in Hawley Common, a site also used to film scenes from the Avengers sequel Age of Ultron in 2014.


Matt Emmet, www.forgottenheritage.co.uk


In 2009 the Pyestock site was granted planning permission for a vast retail distribution centre and by 2013 the majority of buildings had been demolished. Two years ago the site was acquired by property developers, and renamed Hartland Park. It's now earmarked to become a 1,500-home village and primary school development.




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