The gunpowder plot: Exploding the legend

Discussion in 'Sappers' started by Humphrey_De_Tiluel, Nov 1, 2005.

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  1. ITV1 just showed a programme about teh gunpowder plot.

    built a replica of the house of lords as it was at the time in a "Secret military location"

    detonated 1tonne of gunpowder

    fcuk me what a bang :lol: :lol: :lol:

    nice work fellas, wish I'd been the one with me grubby little mit on the shrike
     
  2. Within 5 mins of the programme ending, I got an aerial photo of the test site downloaded off the internet, including the blast wall. So much for the "secret MOD Ranges in Cumbria." Would have been quicker if I'd just searched for the name on the helmet, but I thought that would be a red herring.

    Nice blast though.

    (Percy was one of my ancestors).
     
  3. The explosion was incredible, did more damage than I had expected it too.
    Goddamn Catholic sympathisers :evil:
     
  4. but at least these plotters were the only people in history who entered parliament with honest intentions !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  5. The programme contained an inaccuracy, stating that all those involved were executed. Percy got away with it. Being Duke of Northumberland and having his own private army (Northumberland Fusiliers) may have helped.
     
  6. Secret Military location my Arrse......

    The facilty concerned is used by various private companies like British Gas (or whatever name they use thesedays)

    Some fairly impressive explosions take place there on a fairly regular basis......
     
  7. I wonder what the would have been if the "undercroft" had proper foundations rather than a pour on to concrete or was built of stone with rubble infill like the original? I know they said that the concrete had to be poured in one go to match the structure of the original but I doubt that stone with infill would have behaved the same as a solid lump of concrete.
    Another thing that occured to me was that the original House of Lords would probably have had oak-framed walls and possibly a hammer-beam roof (if Westminster Hall is anything to go by) I would have thought that this would have been a lot stronger than the scaffold and plywood effort on the programme and might well have compressed (or whatever the technical term is) the blast even more.
     
  8. Might be right Bladenberg!
    This facility is used by British Gas to replicate specific explosion characteristics under all sorts of specific conditions so they do have a lot of experience in replicating things to blow up, the results are probably pretty close.

    Large single pour concrete structure like that would probably have been not quite set internally in much the same manner as masonary with stone/mortar infill?

    Only caught the programme from a few minutes before the blast so dont know exactly how they set it up

    By no means an expert on things that go bang or building methods but the secret miltary establishment (I presume we are all pretending its secret and nobody knows where it is!!!) does perform similar types of test a fair bit with pretty accurate results apparently
     
  9. SPADEADAM :D

    GUIDO FAWKES where are you when we really need you?
     
  10. What would the damage radius outside the House have been like?
     
  11. The rubble infill of the original would have been bound together with a lime mortar which, although adequate for it's purpose, would have given negligible tensile strength to the wall. Also, the wall would have been constructed over a period of at least several months, if not years, so it would have been scattered with many day joints, causing further weakness. Add to this, the task of filling the wall with the rubble would not have been considered a craftsman's job, so it would have been full of voids and probably wouldn't have had much mortar. Overall, most of the strength would have been achieved by the masonry skins, the infill solely providing mass.

    By pouring the concrete in a single cast, the modern builders have constructed a wall as strong as is possible without including steel reinforcement. Though concrete is best used in compression, it does have a significant tensile strength. When used in massive walls, it will provide a substantial resistance to the explosive forces, as shown in the recording of the blast.

    Most significantly, the blast of the explosion will take the line of least resistance. In this case, the timber floor and tin roof, weighing much less than the walls, will be the components that move, with the walls channelling the blast upwards rather than outwards.

    But we mustn't lose track of the fact that the gunpowder was intended to kill the people within the House, not cause structural damage. In this respect, the simulation proved the obvious, though glossed over the fact that even without a spectacular explosion, the occupants of the building would have been fried. Guy Fawkes probably could have achieved his aim by spreading the gunpowder over the floor of the undercroft and setting light to a gigantic genie.

    The producers also produced a silly scenario of Guy Fawkes escaping by walking to London Bridge, crossing the river and then jumping on a horse (which would probably have been purloined by joyriders or clamped by traffic wardens). I'd put forward the theory that he would have had a rowing boat tied alongside Parliament and would time the explosion to coincide with the ebb tide. This would allow him to float down to the docks in less than 10 minutes with little suspicion or likelihood of capture.

    Overall, a dramatic production but very light on accuracy.
     
  12. If TCB and the rest of the goonsquad's new anti terrorism law comes into force, you know the one where it becomes illegal to celebrate terrorist acts etc, does that now mean that celebrating Guy Fawkes night becomes a criminal offence?
    Look at the clues it was a religeously motivated treasonable attack.
    or on the other hand is it ok for us the british people to celebrate burning folk in the name of justice.
     
  13. I agree with puttees that the escape method was a bit convoluted - there was no bridge at Westminster at the time so he would have had to teke a ferry or hire a boat to cross to his waiting horse. This being the case why not just row downstream to London (where the nearest bridge was)? Depending on where the Royal Household was living at the time the King may very well have arrived by barge himself and if he was upstream at Richmond or Hampton Court the opening would probably have been timed to coincide with ebb tide and his return would be at the flood.
     
  14. Anyone know the Online Link to the Demo?