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(January 1 – March 31, 2020)

Andrew Bodrov

Winter in Estonia 2020

Robert Bilsland

Hedged in by Houses

Malvern Vale Estate, Malvern, Worcestershire, England, UK.

March 22, 2020, 14:15 UTC (14:15 local time)

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© 2020 Robert Bilsland, All Rights Reserved.


Once upon a time shooting this panorama would have been near impossible (or at least would have required plenty of permission), you see I would have been standing in the middle of one of the UK's Ministry of Defense's (MoD) scientific research establishments. Malvern has had a long connection with the MoD, ever since 1942 when the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE) was looking for a new and safer home to continue the development of the fledgling radar technology.

After the war, what was developed in Malvern didn't stop, there was thermography (thermal cameras), liquid crystal displays, speech synthesis and the touchscreens. Malvern was riding an invention wave. The MoD's presence in Malvern was split between two sites, a North (this one) and South site. Over the years the sites went through many name changes (RRE, RSRE, DRA, DERA) and after being partly privatized in the early 1990's Malvern's MoD presence was divided in the early 2000's between a wholly government owned Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and QinetiQ a private sector company.

At the same time a review of the two sites was undertaken and it was decided to merge the required functions into South site and to sell all of North site off so it could be changed into a housing estate, well almost all of the site. The white building you see (and it's associated buildings in the distance) are original MoD buildings. When it came to closing the site these buildings had a commercial value as they contained an electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing laboratory, one big enough to fit a tank.

This presented a unique challenge when the new estate was designed and built. If you drive in from the main road to these buildings, the road itself isn't a normal estate road, it's big enough to take an articulated lorry carrying a pretty big load round all the tight, twisting bends of a modern estate. It also meant that while everything was being built, access deep into the site had to be maintained at all times. All this has resulted in a high tech EMC testing laboratory being situated slap bang in the middle of a housing estate.

Telecommunications Research Establishment - Wikipedia

QinetiQ - Wikipedia


Taken with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G fisheye lens. Mounted on a Nodal Ninja 5 panorama head and R-D16 rotator atop a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod. Shots taken at 6 positions 60° apart, tilted 15° down and another shot taken looking straight up. Raw files then processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.7 before being stitched together using PTGui 10.0.15 Pro and converted using Pano2VR 6.1 beta3b.

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