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Merryprankster

UK Shrub hill tunnel - Worcester - Jan 2016

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Evening kids, first report of the new year and as its my home town i kinda feel like i should make a bit of effort with this one. My long standing curiosity of what was on the other side of a certain wall in worcester was satisfied last night when i finally got around to hopping it and having a nosey, this in turn sparked a morning's research into what the tunnel was used for, which then lead to me reading a whole bunch of other stuff about the rest of the shrub hill and lowesmore industrial sites. As i said this is home turf for me and some of the derp warehouses that were standing around this part of town some 15 years ago when i was a young punk skiving off school were some of my first explorations, long before the cameras, the forums and the term uRb3X it was just me and my mates being little shits and going where we wanted. After a few years of raving it up reaching for the lazers and going out on the smash every weekend here i am full circle hanging out in derps again, only difference is this time i got a camera and a car :p
 
 
Anyway enough of the life story, on with the explore, the shrub hill tunnel is a tunnel which runs down from the main lines of shrub hill, it was a siding used to service various companies. HHere's a lovely little hand drawn map of what we are looking at, pic courtesy of miac.org.co.uk, the tunnel is the dotted line running diagonally across/underneath the heenan froude ltd company
 
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Little bit of history about 3 of the companies the tunnel and siding serviced -
In 1857 Thomas Clunes established the Vulcan Iron Works, Cromwell Street, Worcester as iron and brass founders. clunes later went into business with a couple railway fellas by the name of McKenzie and Holland and branched into the railway signal manufacturing business. Mckenzie & Holland manufactured signalling equipment which was used in many British and overseas signal boxes. The company expanded to become the foremost manufacturer of signalling equipment in the UK. Walter Holland became a J.P. for the City and County and was Mayor of Worcester from 1878 until 1881 and again in 1887. Mckenzie & Holland merged with other signal manufacturers in 1901 and became a limited company at the same time, wholly owned by the Consolidated Signal Company Limited. The Worcester operation was closed in 1921. The Mckenzie & Holland locomotive was then purchased by Heenan & Froude Ltd who took over responsibility for rail traffic.
 
As you can see from the map above and the pic below here the tracks from the tunnel led right down to the worcester birmingham canal to accommodate goods coming in or going out via canal barge and locomotive, given the vulcan iron works were in the iron business i'm imagining a lot of coal was more than likely being brought down the shrub hill tunnel.
 
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The shrub hill tunnel ran underneath another company by the east side entrance to the tunnel, the Heenan and froude ltd company. Heenan & Froude was famous for building the 518ft high Blackpool Tower. It was once one of the largest employers of skilled workers in the area. The Company, who also had a factory in Manchester, opened its operation in Worcester in 1903, having moved from the Aston Iron Works in Birmingham to a part of the former worcester engine works co site at Shrub Hill. Heenan & Froude was a general purpose engineering company who made amongst other things exhaust and mine ventilating fans, colliery and mining plant, belts, conveyors, elevators, sawing machines, bench chains, water dynamo meters, spherical, horizontal and vertical engines, patent water boilers, bridge and roof iron work, and refuse destructors.
 
Heenan & Froude also used the sidings that had been laid in 1865 and that were connected the 'vinegar works branch line. Shunting of rail traffic on the site was originally the responsibility of mckenzie & holland. When Mckenzie & Holland ceased in 1921 its locomotive was sold to Heenan & Froude who took over the shunting of the railway traffic. A new locomotive was purchased in 1928. The location of the engine shed is not known.
 
This is the heenan and Froude building, the tunnel on the left in the first two images with the clock tower is the same as the small dark tunnel on the right in the third pic, im just stood right up the other end. i actually rooftopped this building when i was a kid, camera wasnt great on my 3310 though :p
 
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This is a quick couple of pics of how everything lays out on top, mainly because there's scaff and i could get a nice shot over the area :p
 
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On with the tunnel pics then
 
This is the west side tunnel entrance leading into what was the vulcan ironworks/mckenzie holland and onto the canal.
 
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The tunnel on the right in this pic is the east side of the tunnel,
 
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that's about it i reckon, thanks for looking kids happy new year to y'all :D
 

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You know what Jake, I am not in to underground stuff really. The odd report catches my eye but reading your history had me quite drawn in. I like it, nice work, nice to see a real thorough history. The building looks impressive with that clock tower, even today. The old pics are great too. Big up from me :thumb 

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