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Landie_Man

UK The Longbridge Tunnels, Birmingham - November 2018

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Visited back in November with Mookster after seeing the Typhoo Factory.  Another one ticked off the list which has been kicking about for years.  I really enjoyed this one; though quite bare and largely sealed, it had a lot of nice things to see down there.  The air was pretty bad though in places!

 

History - Borrowed!
The ‘Shadow Factory Tunnels’ are what remain of Lord Austin’s secret plans that were created to increase the force of the British military against the German military aggression in the arms race that led up to the start of the Second World War. 

 

Munitions workers produced Merlin engines to power Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes which were used to regain control of the British skies during the 1940 Battle of Britain.

The Shadow Scheme involved two stages; the building of nine new factories and the extension of  existing factories.

 

This extension included here; the Longbridge plant. Australian-born industrialist and Conservative MP, Lord Austin, whom founded Austin Motors; had already contributed to the war effort during the First World War, turning his factories to munitions and engine production.

 

The tunnels which ran beneath Austin Rovers Longbridge plant are mostly all that is left of the plant; a large housing development increases in size upon the former footprint.  These tunnels ensured that production of the engines and munitions could continue underground in relative safety. 

 

After WWII; the factory returned to producing automobiles and the tunnels were soon abandoned. By the late 60s, the  plant was the second largest car plant in the world. 

 

After the collapse of MG Rover, the site saw its redevelopment.  Famously; a mini was kept down here after workers damaged it in the 70s and it was hidden from bosses.  The mini is now in a museum.  

This is a very small portion of the tunnels.  Lots is bricked up

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11 hours ago, obscureserenity said:

Nice photos, looks like you covered them well. Thanks for posting :thumb

Thanks mate. I did enjoy this one!

 

11 hours ago, AndyK! said:

Pretty cool as tunnels go

Thanks Andy. Yeah this one is a nice little wander!

 

21 minutes ago, Dale68 said:

Very nice photos, I really envy the people who make it to there.

Thanks mate. I’m glad to have gone!

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