Well here goes a first report on here since i joined in 2013, completely forgetting i had created an account so please accept my delayed apologies for being inactive...
I visited this place in 2014, so a while ago now... hence why the pictures are how they are . After an epic road trip up north, we returned to our hometown and had an opportunity for something we had been working on for a while. Exhausted from lack of sleep and driving many miles, we were not going to miss this window of opportunity and visited the place before it was no longer doable.
Really not sure on the history of the place, possibly built as wine vaults? Unable to find any records of it to be honest, it was really a right place at the right time thing. I believe it was at some point used as a youth club, then left vacant for a number of years and last i heard it was a gym. Unsure of the current situation, would like a revisit with the new camera and glass but beggars cant be choosers eh!!
Visited with non members JDY and xcon2icon. Access at the time was a walk in the park, and ive not seen it posted before so hoping its something that isn't the monotonous same old stuff for people to look at either, despite the lack of decent pictures!!
Really not the most exciting evening, no security, no nosy neighbors, no drama!
Thanks for looking!!
Explored with @-Raz- & @Fatpanda after a series of car problems.
Sandsend Tunnel is a tunnel on the former Whitby, Redcar and Middlesbrough Union Railway that was opened in 1883 and closed in 1958. The rail line that ran through it was originally intended to travel along the top of the cliffs, however some of the cliff fell into the sea whilst construction was suspended so the NER constructed two tunnels, the Sandsend tunnel and the Kettleness tunnel.
The Sandsend Tunnel is the longer of two tunnels being 1,652 yards in length. It is predominantly straight but the north-western 300 yards incorporate a curve to the north.
There are a total of five air shafts, two of which have nearby service galleries leading off horizontally to the cliffs which were used to dump spoil while carving out the tunnels, the air shafts were capped in 1958. The southern half of the tunnel is considerably damp with the tunnel being flooded to about 6 inches on the southern 300 yards. The southern portal of the Sandsend tunnel is bricked up and it can only be accessed via the northern portal of the Kettleness tunnel by walking through the Kettleness tunnel and the area between the tunnels which is overgrown with grass and trees. The northern portal of the Sandsend tunnel partially collapsed in 2008 after years of pressure from the cliff above.
"It is not recommended to access the tunnels due to their poor condition; they have not been maintained since they were abandoned in 1958." - Both tunnels were in pretty good condition other than the odd bow in the wall from the pressure of the cliff above, which just goes to show how strong old school engineering really is
Walking the lines;
Parking in the hamlet of Kettleness we walked over the cliff tops to where we assumed the portal for the first tunnel was, crossing the farmers field wondering how secure it would be. On arrival however, it transpired that the NY council are a lot more laid back about railway tunnels then WY as instead of the normal palisade fortress, we found just a brick wall with a door sized hole in it.
The tunnels itself was rather interesting as far as railway tunnels go, each featuring a mine adit filled with horrible orange, knee deep disgusting muddy water. Did i mention it wasnt very nice? Myself and @Fatpanda had left @-Raz- further up the tunnel so we went for a mooch down one of these. I would say it was about 100m from tunnel entrance to adit entrance, but 20 mins and up to the very limits of our wellies, i misplaced my foot whilst feeling for the next board and went in up to my lower thigh, which of course meant my welly filled to the brim. YUM!
Rest of the photos;
Thanks for looking
Unfortunately, I don't know any history.
By the way, all photos were only taken from the outside, through the bars of the windows. Therefore, no access was possible - or if, only by a deep cellar window. But even that wasn't possible because of local residents. So I only took a few photos from the outside and then we drove on.
Visited during an interesting nights exploring in Brum with Lenston.
Here's some history shamelessly lifted from from his excellent report:
Here's the iconic shot of ladies building the engines during the war
And on with some shonky pics.
Lenston doing what he does best
Some sections had been painted and were really well preserved
Thanks for looking
Visited with Wellingtonian.
Done a good few times before but a good mooch for an hour or 2.
The â€˜Shadow Factory Tunnelsâ€™ are the remnants of Lord Austinâ€™s secret plans that were hatched to bolster British military might in the face of German military aggression in the arms race that led up to the start of the Second World War.
This was where munitions workers produced the Merlin engines that powered the Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes used to regain control of the British skies during the Battle of Britain in 1940.
The Shadow Scheme involved two parts - building nine new factories and extending existing factories - including the Longbridge plant.
Australian-born industrialist and Conservative MP, Lord Austin - also the founder of Austin Motors - had already contributed to the war effort in the First World War, turning his factories to munitions and engine production.
After the war, the factory returned to producing automobiles and the tunnels were abandoned.
By the late 1960s, the Longbridge plant was the second largest car plant in the world.
But since the collapse of MG Rover, part of the site was redeveloped for housing and commercial purposes
Thanks for looking