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
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
I had my first look around some Victorian drains this week. Massive thanks to Adders for taking me, extreme_ironing, and a friend visiting from Germany to see these epic bits of infrastructure. I probably wouldn't have ventured down without his expertise and knowledge to be honest. I've also used his and Ojay's previous comprehensive reports as a reference for some factual information so cheers lads. Oh yeah, and thanks to everyone that came along for helping me light the place as my torch batteries were dead, I really need to learn from this as it's not the first time I've found myself underground trying to use my iPhone as a torch! Not Pro.
These were the cleaner bits of the network, manageable in just wellies although 'clean' probably isn't the best description. Having said that I was expecting the smell to be far worse than it was but it didnt bother me one little bit whilst down there. We visited 3 separate sections in one evening and saw some epic bits, it's amazing that these old tunnels have survived so long, are still being used today and for the foreseeable future. An amazing feat in engineering and construction.
Lucky Charms, officially known as Clapham storm relief, serves the Southern High Level No.1/Putney & Clapham extension & Balham Sewers. It was designed towards the end of the 19th century (approximately 1870s at a guess) by Joseph Bazalgette, the chief engineer of London's Metropolitan Board of Works. His major achievement was the creation (in response to the Great Stink of 1858) of a sewer network for central London which was instrumental in relieving the city from cholera epidemics, while beginning the cleansing of the River Thames.
An old worker's cart left behind since construction took place
South West Storm Relief, up to the River Effra. Part of the same network as Lucky Charms but further along
There were some nasty pieces of shit in the River Effra, and I'm not just referring to Adders
Our German friend with camera equipment way too expensive for places like this
I told Roxanne she didn't have to put on the red light but she insisted
River Fleet Outfall Chamber, which deals with flows from the storm relief and the Fleet Mainline when at capacity. The Fleet storm relief was built in 1875 in order to give extra capacity to the Fleet Sewer
The Fleet Mainline, it was seriously hot and steamy in here for all the wrong reasons. This was the only pic that came out ok for that reason.
Abandoned machinery left to rust
Penstock mechanism for the chamber below that feeds into the Low Level 1 interceptor. These allow works to shutdown the flow to certain places using the giant flaps pictured below.
Apparently if you fell down here you would end up at Abbey Mills pumping station (albeit dead and smelling of shit).
The outfall chamber, this fills up with Thames sludge as the Fleet is tidal. A mix of sewage, mud, silt and whatever else, probably best not to know in fact.
Luckily it was only ankle deep when we were inside but it can rise up as high as the gantry in front of these flaps when at high tide.
These giant 4 flaps control the flow into the main outfall chamber, must've been a pretty amazing feat to get these lumps down here back in the day
Two small flaps behind here control the flow from the Fleet Storm Relief rejoining the Combined Sewer Overflow
These make the most amazing boom when you lift them and let them clang
Thanks for looking