So I’m watching this TV program rather than do any work, and it’s about properties that are for sale around the UK – the slightly weirder, more beautiful, stranger places to buy, live and work in. Suddenly this incredible place comes up on screen. Am underground fort – victorian in origin – later used as a kind of way-station for troops in World War Two. Full of underground rooms, and over three miles of tunnels and rooms which were previously gun placements. My mouth hit the floor. I was in love with Fort Borstal.
It didn’t take long for my mind to start working overtime, imagining corridors lined with cabling, huge underground server rooms, places to live, places to work, places to play. A huge, underground hi-tech geek utopia of weird thinkers, dreamers and weirdos. I talked to Matt about it immediately and he got just as excited as I had. But how much would it cost? How much would a disused, run-down underground metropolis cost? Three million? Five million?
No. One hundred and seventy-five thousand pounds – an amount of money that you couldn’t buy a two bedroom flat in decent parts of London with. It would cost hundreds of thousands, millions even, to get the whole thing up and running, but for an initial outlay, it’s nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was sold, in the end, to a woman from South London who wanted to buy goats.