How do lads and lasses.
I first got into exploring by taking an interest in Miley Tunnel. Coming from Preston, you often heard stories of Miley Tunnel and it's supposed paranormal inhabitants. This place was used to scare young kids, for teenagers to dare each other to walk through and for adults to throw rubbish over the side into as well.
It was part of the now defunct Preston to Longridge Railway which also ran a service to Whittingham.
Apparently, there have been plans to reopen this as a tram link to the M6 at Junction 31a. Perfect for the student types in the university which is situated next to this place and I guess it might cut traffic going into Preston City Centre itself.
History shamelessly half inched from Wiki:
The Preston and Longridge Railway (P&LR) was a branch line in Lancashire, England. Originally designed to carry quarried stone in horse-drawn wagons, it became part of an ambitious plan to link the Lancashire coast to the heart of Yorkshire. The plan failed, and the line closed to passengers in 1930 and to goods in 1967.
The Preston and Longridge Railway Company was set up in 1836 to build a tramway from the newly opened Tootle Heights Quarry in Longridge to Preston. The 6Ã‚Â½-mile (10Ã‚Â½ km) single-track line was opened on 1 May 1840, with crude passenger facilities at Longridge, Grimsargh and Deepdale Street in Preston.
Wagons were horse-drawn from Preston uphill to Longridge. Wagons ran by gravity in the opposite direction as far as Ribbleton, which was then a village just outside Preston. Horses were used for the final two miles (3 km) to Deepdale. Longridge ashlar sandstone was widely used in the region, for example in the building of Lancaster Town Hall, Bolton Town Hall, Preston railway station and Liverpool Docks.
In 1850, a double-track extension was built connecting to the existing line a few hundred yards east of the Deepdale Street terminus. The line passed via the 862-yard (788 m) Miley Tunnel under the north part of Preston and connected to the Preston and Wyre Joint Railway very close to that lineÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s original terminus at Maudlands. The extension was initially used for goods only.
The first work on the Grimsargh to Skipton line was the excavation of a short cutting (which still exists) south of Hurst Green (at 53.827385Ã‚Â°N 2.484603Ã‚Â°W), but then the project was abandoned. In 1852, the FP&WRR Company collapsed. The Preston and Longridge Railway acquired the engines and rolling stock of the collapsed company in lieu of owed rental fees.
However, in 1856 a reformed Fleetwood, Preston and West Riding Junction Railway Company purchased the line. The line through Miley Tunnel was opened to passengers, with new stations at each end, at Deepdale Bridge on Deepdale Road and at Maudland Bridge. The original Deepdale Street terminus was closed to passengers but continued to be used for goods.
By 1866, the plan to extend the line to Yorkshire had been revived. Fearing that the rival Midland Railway would buy the line to gain access to Preston, the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR) bought the line instead. From the following year, the line was owned jointly by the L&YR and the London and North Western Railway (LNWR).
In 1885, Maudland Bridge Station was closed and passenger trains ran on to the adjacent LNWR main line to Preston Station, allowing connections to other railway lines for the first time.
Whittingham Hospital Branch
In June 1889, a private branch line was opened northwards from Grimsargh to Whittingham Asylum two miles (3 km) away. As well as supplies, hospital staff and visitors were carried free of charge in converted goods brake vans. Trains (as many as twelve per day) were timed to connect with passenger trains at Grimsargh.
The locomotives used on the hospital branch were industrial types with the exception of the ex-London, Brighton and South Coast Railway no. 357, Riddlesdown, which was purchased in February 1948 from British Railways for Ã‚Â£745.
The hospital line continued to operate long after the main branch closed to passengers in 1930. The hospital trains were now timed to connect with bus services at Grimsargh. The line eventually closed on 29 June 1957.
By 1930 the popularity of bus travel caused the line to close to passengers. The line to Longridge remained open to goods traffic until November 1967.
Goods traffic continued to use part of the line as far as the Courtaulds factory at Red Scar, until the last train worked by class 25 diesel, number 25 142 on Friday 8 February 1980. The Gamull Lane bridge over the line at Ribbleton was subsequently removed. All that now remained of the whole line was a Y-shaped link between the West Coast Main Line and coal yards at the site of the original Deepdale Street terminus. This, too, was closed in the 1990s, although the tracks for this section were never taken up.
The track through Miley Tunnel, though rusty and overgrown, still exists.
The lineÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s route in Preston between Blackpool Road and Red Scar is now a cycle path and footpath. It is planned to extend the path to Grimsargh.
In Longridge, a portal to a blocked-off tunnel under Higher Road that led to Tootle Heights Quarry is a Grade II listed building. The station buildings at Longridge and Ribbleton still survive.
In 2003, the Preston City Link Canal Trust was formed with a plan to reopen part of the Lancaster Canal to a new marina to be constructed in the vicinity of the former Maudland Bridge railway station. One option being considered was to reopen the Longridge line as far as Deepdale or Ribbleton, the line passing by viaduct over the new marina.
In 2010, light rail manufacturer Trampower UK opened negotiations to use a segment of the former route as a tram demonstrator line. Initially, Trampower UK would use the line from the Miley Tunnel portal to Ribbleton, however their long term ambition is to provide a service on the line from the M6 Junction 31A to Preston city centre.
Now you've been bored shit less with the history I'll get to the piccies:
Me and my Dad explored Miley. It was the first time my Dad had been back down for 40 years. We walked through and got the pics on the way back.
The Deepdale Entrance:
Looking back out towards Deepdale:
Looking in from Deepdale:
One last look back towards the light:
Onwards into the darkness:
Playing about with the remote and some LEDs:
Train copy FAIL:
Blue Light Orb:
Orange Light Orb that looks like a friggin' Mandarin:
Light at the end of the tunnel:
Back into the light:
Looking back towards the tunnel:
Back in to the smaller tunnel:
Looking back towards to tunnel as we finished:
All in all it was great to finally get down there and great for my Dad to relive a little bit of his youth.
Thanks for looking
A bit of a mish mash as I couldn't find much just on the Chapel but this is what I did find.
After its closure, the land of the former Hospital was purchased for residential development by Bloor Homes. It was sold off to various other developers such as Redrow, Barratt, Harron Homes, Wimpey and PJ Livesey although Bloor’s were the major house builder for the new Wadsley Park estate which was constructed on the site of the old hospital. The Wadsley Park village consists of a mixture of houses and apartments of various sizes. Some of the old hospital structures were designated as listed buildings, the main admin block (the clock tower), Kingswood ward, the church and the porters lodge were all grade II listed and could not be demolished with the rest of the hospital.
The administration building and clock tower were converted into 38 luxury apartments by Urbani after permission to demolish the building was denied and the building is now known as Middlewood Lodge. The Kingswood ward has been converted into 85 apartments by developers PJ Livesey and is known as Kingswood Hall. The porter's lodge on Middlewood Road has been refurbished and is now a nursery. The hospital church has been derelict for many years, it held its last service on 6 November 1996 to mark the closure of the hospital. In March 2012 plans were submitted by architectural design consultancy Coda Studios that may see the imposing Victorian church converted into a mixture of town houses and apartments. The scheme which needs approval from Sheffield City Council also contains proposals for a selection of partially underground eco-friendly bungalows beneath the building.
Visited with @hamtagger , we had allready been on one explore in Sheffield and were running out of daylight hours so needed one that wasn't going to take long. I had seen the post @Paulpowers had posted on this little chapel and liked the look of it.
Not much left to it really but what I did see was nice. The initial thought I had when seeing it was it looked like a really gloomy church. Almost hidden beneath greenery you could see the spire and top poking out as we approached. Entry was relatively easy. The ground had been dug out inside with channels in between each Column. I am assuming they do this to see what the foundations are like. Actually I didn't assume this. HT told me and I just thought it would make me a little more intelligent haha!
The structure is pretty sound, quite sad to see how much graf and vandalism this place has had. It's always quite sad to see someone deface the 'house of god'. Not that I am religious or anything but more respectful if anything.
There are some wonderful stained glass windows in here, especially the one which was placed in there just after World War II. Anyway, not much left to say on this place.
1: The Exterior
2: The inside looking back from the Altar
5: The right Transept windows
6: The remains of the Organ
7: The Original flooring, mostly covered in Pigeon Shit
8: One of the few remaining Stained Glass windows
9: The part I liked the most, still 100% intact too. A little slice of history
Unlike the railways in Europe or northern America, New Zealand tracks were rudimentary. They were built cheaply and hastily using light iron rails that had a narrow 3ft 6in gauge. Even the tunnels and bridges were minimalistic and usually made as small as possible to get the railways up and running as quickly as possible. It was always the intention, though, that the lines would be improved in the future as traffic and available finances increased.
The four-hundred and sixty-two metre long Chain Hills Railway Tunnel, also known as Wingatui Tunnel, was one of the tunnels built in the 1870s, during New Zealand’s brief period of industrialisation. The line itself was constructed to improve transportation of coal and other natural resources across the land to major ports, where the goods could then be shipped elsewhere. Like the Caversham Tunnel, the Chain Hills Tunnel was largely dug out by hand, but it is unique in the sense that it is a Victorian styled brick tunnel that would have taken longer to build than some of the others that were carved out. The Chain Hills Tunnel also sparked much excitement in Dunedin during its construction as workmen made an interesting discovery while making a cutting at the southern end of the tunnel. Thirty-five feet under the ground, which it is thought was once swampland, a large number of moa bones were found (a flightless bird endemic to New Zealand). The bones ranged in shape and size and were in a very good state of preservation owing to the high alkaline levels in the soil.
The Chain Hills Tunnel was completed in 1875, and it was measured as being four hundred and sixty-two metres long. Progress was aided with the construction of brick kilns at either end of the tunnel, as this meant materials did not run short because bricks were constantly available throughout the project. However, finishing the tunnel proved to be a difficult and dangerous task. For years the project was plagued by regular flooding, which slowed progress, and workers were also encumbered by the hardness of the stone they were cutting through. Alongside these issues, six months before completion a rock fall occurred at the north end of the tunnel. The incident claimed the lives of two men, Patrick Dempsey and Thomas Kerr. A third man was severely injured as both of his legs were shattered, leaving him crippled for the rest of his life. In the end, the tunnel did not remain in service for very long either as it was abandoned in 1914. A new dual-lane tunnel was constructed further south which meant there was no longer any need for the Chain Hills Tunnel.
In the short period of time the Chain Hills Tunnel was operational it claimed another life – that of Irishman George Thompson. Reports indicate that late one evening in 1895, George took a shortcut through the tunnel to get home. Although there are several niches in the tunnel it is likely George was unaware of them, or simply too far away to reach one, before he noticed the oncoming train. Since its closure, however, no more lives have been lost. For a while the tunnel was used as a popular way of passing between Abbotsford and Wingatui, and for moving sheep between the two locations. Nevertheless, since the 1980s the tunnel has been closed to the public due to the deterioration of the tunnel’s structural integrity and subsequent health and safety concerns.
In recent years there have been plans to redevelop the tunnel into part of the proposed Otago Central Rail Trail (a cycle and pedestrian track). But, due to lack of funding and ongoing concerns surrounding the structural integrity of the tunnel, especially with the increased risk of it being damaged by an earthquake, the project has come to a standstill. The only recent work Dunedin City Council has carried out on the Chain Hills Tunnel has been to shift two vents from sewer gas reticulation pipes, to stop them from venting into the tunnel.
Our Version of Events
Having just returned from a South Island trip the previous night, we had no intentions of going exploring, until Nillskill rocked up that is. He was passing back through Dunedin so we decided while he was around to have a crack at the old Chain Hills Tunnel that’s been on the cards for quite a while. We understand there was a public open day a few months ago, but going to an event like that would take away one of the most interesting parts of exploring – figuring out how to slip into these places.
We loaded up the car with the usual gear and raided the fridge for all the beers we had spare, then set off in the direction of Mosgiel, a town that is apparently well-known for its local legends and myths. The drive didn’t take too long, which is always good, but the next hour or so we spent trying to find the damn tunnel was a right challenge. To avoid a couple of nearby farms we headed into a patch of native woodland. This would most likely have been quite pleasant, if we’d been able to see where the fuck we were going. But, as we didn’t want to risk using the torches with the farms being so close, we ended up getting very lost among the trees and bushes.
After following a few false trails, we did eventually stumbled across the entrance to the tunnel. Just the faint sight of it in the distance raised our disheartened spirits. The next challenge, though, was to get past a locked gate. Fortunately, this wasn’t as bad as it had first appeared, probably due to the fact that we’ve had plenty of practice in the art of contortion over the years we’ve been exploring. To keep it brief, despite some initial doubts about our ability to contort through the space available to us, we managed to worm our way inside.
As expected, the inside of the tunnel was incredibly muddy. Even sticking close to the walls didn’t help very much. As for the tunnel itself, though, it was, aesthetically speaking, very pleasant. It reminded us of an old Victorian railway tunnel you’d find in the UK. The condition of some of the bricks in the Chain Hills Tunnel are quite poor too, which enhances its overall photogenicity. Other than that, however, there isn’t a lot else to see. That’s the nature of old railway tunnels unfortunately. We did find a couple of niches and a few pipes belonging to the sewer system, but they’re pretty standard finds in these places. Eventually, after what felt like a fair bit of walking, we found ourselves at the second gate. For some reason, the authorities had left this one open, probably due to the fact that the tunnel is inaccessible from this side. Whatever the reason, it gave us an easy exit from the tunnel, where we found ourselves on a narrow muddy trail surrounded by dense forest. Apparently, if you continue down the track for a while you eventually reach the present day railway line, but it’s quite difficult for anyone to access the tunnel from this side. We didn’t walk down the trail to find out if this is true mind, since we had a bottle of whisky to get started on back in Dunedin.
Explored with Nillskill.
“Here in Sheffield we have a proud sporting heritage and it is important that we build upon that to create the right environment in which the sportsmen and women of the future can train, develop and thrive… But it isn’t just about the elite, it is about every man, woman and child in our city being fitter, healthier and enjoying physical activity” (Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure at Sheffield council).
Chapeltown Baths opened sometime at the beginning of the 1960s. Locally, the facility was very popular, especially among children, and many people have indicated that the place has played a big part in their lives. The baths also held regular swimming galas which always attracted large audiences as parents and guardians would flock to the stands to observe. However, despite the fondness for the centre, it was often regarded as being too small and outdated. One for the clubs that used the pool on a regular basis, for instance, had to establish a waiting list for the people wanting to join.
New plans to redevelop the site into a larger, more modern, venue were launched by Sheffield Council sometime between 2010 and 2015. Plans for the new facility revealed that a two-storey extension would be added to the front of the existing building, to house a gymnasium, flexible activity/exhibition space and a community café. The aim was to create a welcoming and revitalised health and fitness centre for the local area. The main entrance was to be moved to the back of the current site where a large glazed atrium would be constructed, and, as for the pool itself, it was to be modernised and larger changing areas for both males and females were to be installed. Nevertheless, in the end the plans were scrapped as it was decided that the site was simply too small to revamp and in the long run would not offer value for money.
After the original plans were abandoned, a plan to build a brand-new leisure centre was proposed. The new £7 million project was quickly accepted and construction of the facility began in 2015, up the road from the old site in High Green. The erection of the new leisure centre was said to have been one of the first leisure developments in Sheffield in over a decade. The Thorncliffe Recreation Centre is now open and most of the staff from Chapeltown Baths were said to have been moved over. Various reports suggest that the new pool is larger and has an extra lane, and that a new community has been established there. Although the new site does not have the same character, local residents generally seem happy with the new facility.
As for the former Chapeltown Baths site, it has remained abandoned since the beginning of 2016. No plans have been set in stone yet; however, it is rumoured that the building will be demolished to make way for affordable housing. In the meantime, like most abandoned sites, the building has experienced increasing incidents of vandalism in recent months as local goons have managed to get their hands on a few brushes, several tins of Wilko One Coat and a box of safety matches. Smoke at the site was reported in March 2017, coming from the basement, and this resulted in the fire service being called to attend the scene. It is reported that they and had to cut their way into the building to extinguish a small fire. Fortunately, in this instance there was very little damage. As things stand presently, SCAFF Security Alarms Ltd. claim they have sealed the premises and installed various security systems to prevent any further vandalism.
Our Version of Events
With a couple of hours to kill before we hit some of Sheffield’s legendary pubs later that evening, we decided to pop across to Chapeltown and take a look at the old public swimming pool that had recently been brought to our attention. None of us have ever been to Chapeltown before and I can’t say we were expecting to discover anything amazing there, but one thing we did notice is that the townspeople aren’t doing themselves any favours in terms of attracting tourists to the area. For instance, there’s a large sign in the centre of the town that reads, ‘Fast trains to Sheffield and Barnsley’, implying that you should probably get going as soon as possible. However, we chose to ignore the advice and hang around for a little while instead.
Finding the old swimming pool wasn’t particularly difficult. We sort of stumbled across it before needing to consult Google Maps for guidance. After that, we lingered around the bus stop that’s positioned right outside for a while, trying to work out why the metal shutter that should have been covering the main entrance looked like someone had had a go at it with a tin opener. At first, we were convinced that some incredibly ambitious explorer had decided to break in that way, rather than simply peel off a board. But, as we discovered later on, it turns out it was the firefighters who’d hacked a hole in the shutter. Even so, there was no evidence that they’d managed to get into the building that way – unless they had the keys to the building – because the front door behind it was still locked up tight. Fortunately, though, the shutter wasn’t the only opening the fire service had created. It is thanks to those guys, then, and their arsenal of cutting tools that we managed to get inside.
Once inside the building, we didn’t have to worry about being spotted from the outside since all the windows at ground level had been boarded over. This made capturing images a bit easier because we could wave the torches around a bit. However, the downside to our visit was that we were a bit late getting to this one as the local goons have been inside and clearly they got a little bit overexcited. Hence why there’s a mountain of shit in the pool and broken glass everywhere. On the positive side, however, the fire damage was minimal, limited to a very small section of the basement area. In that sense, the rest of the building remains unscathed.
All in all, it took us around forty minutes to cover the building from the basement to the loft. Afterwards, we left feeling satisfied that something new in Sheffield had turned up, but even more delighted that we were heading straight for The Fat Cat for no fewer than eight pints of Kelham Island’s finest and a plate of homemade curry. Many hours later, after an innumerable number of pints, two curries and several packets of peanuts, we staggered back out onto the streets of Sheffield. We were tempted to have a quick look at Minitron while we were so close, but since the lampposts on the other side of the street were swaying in a very unusual manner, we decided to call it a day and head back into town for one final pint before bed.
Explored with Soul.