The Mersey Tunnel

The Mersey Tunnel has been a significant part of my life.

As a child, I spent an awful lots of time shuttling between the two sides of the River Mersey.

Now I find myself, once more, doing the daily commute through it.

So when himself suggested that we do the Tunnel Tour, I jumped at the opportunity.

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The tour starts in the art deco building at St George’s dock.

You know you are nearly there when, you see this original payment booth from 1934 when King George opened the Queensway Tunnel.

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The  2.01 mile tunnel was dug by hand, it took 1700 men, 9 years to build.

Sadly, 17 lives were lost but really that is quite amazing when you think about it.

This original pick axe is on display in the room where the tour starts.

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Although no longer in use, the original control room from the 1960’s certainly caused a stir.

It was like a scene from an early James Bond film.

Nevertheless, Mick the engineer, was quite insistent that the original was much more efficient than the computer version used now.

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There were plenty of dark corners and at the other end of this passageway, there was a hole in the wall.

The youngest was invited to throw a stone through the hole and it hit the water pretty quickly.

The River Mersey was not far away – yikes!

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This ventilation fan is original and still in full working order.

It was very impressive and extremely effective.

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This corridor led to the car deck, which is the bit that I drive along at least twice a day.

The corridor also led to the refuge points that were installed in 2004.

The refuges were very reassuring, there are seven of them, they each have a video link to the Tunnel Police and, are linked by a walkway below the road surface.

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Underneath the car deck was another tunnel that they call Central Avenue.

It was meant to be used for trams but the idea was quickly abandoned, it is now used for cabling and the main ventilation fresh air supply duct.

As regular users of the Tunnel, all three of us really enjoyed the tour.

Himself was fascinated, I was reassured and the youngest enjoyed the novelty of finding out what was behind the familiar walls.

Tunnel users will love this tour, although most of the other people in our group had never even driven through it, but still seemed to enjoyed it.

It is worth two hours of your life just to be throughly entertained by the double act that are the guides Billy and Ryan.

They were very welcoming and kept up their hilarious banter from start to finish.

If you get the chance, give it a go!

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Have a lovely day!

 

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30 thoughts on “The Mersey Tunnel

  1. Ooh I love anything like that. The feats of engineering from days long gone always amaze me, I should have been a boy I think haha. Yes in those days, sad though it is, to have only lost 17 lives attempting something as huge as that seems a pretty good health and safety record. Thank you for sharing your day out, I would definitely take that tour.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mick the engineer was probably right about the efficiency of the original system, computers invite feature creep (where you just keep adding features and nice to have one here another there) until all efficiency is negated with over-bloated unnecessary stuff. I’m surprised there were only 17 lives lost in the construction, that’s pretty good really.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never been through the tunnel, but it’s interesting to hear how it was built and a little history. I’m surprised that the water was so close though! Fantastic that they have refuges to too, I always wonder when you see films like Independence Day and there’s no way out of a tunnel!
    Thanks for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to drive through the tunnel on occasion to get to the Wirral for meetings in a long ago job. I’m sure I always held my breath from start to finish! I never got used to it! This tour looks like my cup of tea though! #whatevertheweather

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh wow that’s so interesting!! It must be so strange being there when you drive over so much. Like a little hidden world. I can’t get over how many people built it!! That’s incredible. Now a days it would probably just take a handful of people. It’s amazing that they’ve turned it into a little attraction too. Fascinating information. Thank you so, so much for linking up to #whatevertheweather xx

    Liked by 1 person

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