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silverainbow

UK Ramsgate West Cliff Section, Ramsgate, Kent, June 2013

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Something else I have been waiting an absolute eternity to do, but was finally given the opportunity so seized it with both hands, Visited with Non member Dan H, A bit of History borrowed again from a highly respect site:

The town's borough engineer and surveyor R.D. Brimmell conceived and planned a scheme for tunneling galleries out of the chalk. This was similar to the only other known network of deep shelters in Barcelona that Spain built during the Spanish civil war.

Following Hitler's seizure of Austria in 1938 Brimmell put his proposals before the town council for submission to the Home Office for approval. The plan was rejected on the grounds that it was "premature". Following Munich, the council approached the Home Office a second time but were again turned down. In the spring of 1939 when Hitler walked into Czechoslovakia, the council made a third appeal to the Home Office who relented and excavations began. By the outbreak of war, work was nearing completion on what was to become one of the most extensive network of deep air-raid shelters anywhere in the country. Plans were soon in hand to incorporate both the standard gauge and narrow gauge tunnels in to the shelter network. The tunnels would be linked to a further 3.25 miles of new tunnels skirting the town in a semi-circular route.

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The contract for this immense undertaking was awarded to Francois Cementation Co. Ltd., at a cost of £40,383 with an additional £13,481 for seating, lighting, chemical toilets and the costs of converting the existing tunnels.

Work proceeded night and day and the first section of the network between West Harbour and Queen Street was opened by the Duke of Kent on 1st June 1939 with the contract due to be completed by the end of that year. As each new section of tunnel was opened it received it's allocation of local people with strict regulations enforced; smoking was forbidden and pets and prams were not allowed underground. The first section opened had batteries and a generator but the rest of the tunnels had to rely on the town supply, which was at times erratic. Eventually the council provided 200 hurricane lamps. There was also a system of loudspeakers to relay wireless programmes and announcements.

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The tunnels ran at a depth of 50 to 90 feet, following the line of existing roads wherever possible. For most of its length they were unsupported and un-lined but the entrance tunnels close to the surface and a few short sections through unstable ground were lined with reinforced concrete. For most of their length the new tunnels were 6' wide by 7' high with toilet recesses fitted with curtains at 75 foot intervals and a first aid post every 1000 feet.

There were ten ventilation shafts throughout the system with manhole covers (still visible) in the roads above. There was seating for 35,000 but the shelter was expected to hold 60,000 without difficulty.

There were numerous spur tunnels serving 10 entrances located mainly in public parks and open spaces, (one of them at Vale Square was filled in before the shelter opened as the area was well served by two other entrances) with an 11th entrance in the hospital as a quick route for taking patients down from the wards and casualties up into the hospital.

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The Very Famous "Please Refrain From Spitting" Sign Stenciled onto the wall

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And Finally one of me messing around :D

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Thats all folks, thanks for taking the time to view my pics :thumb

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These are great mate :) Must have been a fiar size, how much of it still exists?

this is part of about 3 and a half miles of arp mate ,three sections remain all cut off from eachother now

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Guest Scattergun
this is part of about 3 and a half miles of arp mate ,three sections remain all cut off from eachother now

Jeez 3 an a half? It's hard to comprehend really just by looking at pictures. I'd love to dig up some wartime shots of the place in use.

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:o Everytime I see this place it makes me go all tingly :P,absolutely stunning shots SR lighting is spot on and the location I would be dribbling everywhere nice little write up to what more could 1 want :thumb

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