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Explanation of the 'Tube'

Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:04 pm
by Cazzro
I know there is a similiar topic but i would like to know why it was built, why it leads to sharpenhurst. and just anything else people know is true about 'The Tube' because on the other topic there was alot of things posted that are'nt exactly true.

Re: Explanation of the 'Tube'

Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:28 pm
by eucsgmrc
There's no mystery about it. It was simply the standard technology of the period. Any other comparable institution would have had similar arrangements - schools, hospitals, prisons, barracks, whatever. The building was completed by 1902, so it was designed in the late 19th century - the height of the age of steam, moving into the age of electricity. The school needed power and heat, and the most economic way to provide it was a single coal-fired boiler-house, which also gave a touch of modernity with a DC generator (which supplied the school's electricity until the 1950s). Hot water was distributed to all the buildings through big lagged pipes. It made far more sense to install those in an access tunnel than to bury them in the ground.

All of which makes me wonder whether there was also a town gas generator. I don't remember gas being used in the school except in bunsen burners, and possibly a gas engine that powered the manual school through one of those pulleys-and-belts systems. Perhaps the kitchens were gas-fired as well, but I was never interested enough to find out. Does anybody know where gas came from?

Re: Explanation of the 'Tube'

Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:51 pm
by michael scuffil
There was certainly gas around, even in the houses. We used to heat the monitors' milk for our evening hot drinks on matron's gas ring. A gas ring for boys' use was introduced with the senior/junior house conversion in 1964.

Re: Explanation of the 'Tube'

Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:18 pm
by Cazzro
So they had a boiler room but that dosent make up for the network of tunnels surely they wouldnt of had all the pipes back then?

Re: Explanation of the 'Tube'

Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:08 pm
by Bathegg
yea i heard the same. people say it is legand it went to sharpenhurst. i say fact. looking from peel pitches you can see the '' Telephone mast'' surrounded by bushes on sharpenthurst hill . If you go in the bushy bit there is like a hill. at the top of it (which is now fenced off) there is a bunker like thing wich if you look down you can see the tube......

Re: Explanation of the 'Tube'

Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:23 pm
by sejintenej
eucsgmrc wrote:There's no mystery about it. It was simply the standard technology of the period. Any other comparable institution would have had similar arrangements - schools, hospitals, prisons, barracks, whatever. The building was completed by 1902, so it was designed in the late 19th century - the height of the age of steam, moving into the age of electricity. The school needed power and heat, and the most economic way to provide it was a single coal-fired boiler-house, which also gave a touch of modernity with a DC generator (which supplied the school's electricity until the 1950s). Hot water was distributed to all the buildings through big lagged pipes. It made far more sense to install those in an access tunnel than to bury them in the ground.
For many years it has struck me that, to prevent the incessent digging up of roads, that water, gas and electricity etc. should be distributed in such tunnels under each pavement. It would be far easier to access pipes, cables etc., would ensure that there is no risk of damaging other pipes and cables, and should ease traffic flow. Of course they might get flooded but it should be relatively easy to pump out 50m stretches as required.

:offtopic: In the penultimate line I used a comma after the word cables and before a conjunction. There are heated claims that this is correct but is not what I was taught. Anyone like to get into a heated argument? Are there any CH English teachers lurking?
:backtotopic:

Re: Explanation of the 'Tube'

Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:55 pm
by eucsgmrc
Cazzro wrote:So they had a boiler room but that dosent make up for the network of tunnels surely they wouldnt of had all the pipes back then?
Indeed they would. That was the whole point. The hot water was distributed to all the school's buildings, for heating (via big cast-iron radiators). There were cut-and-cover tunnels all over the place - from the boiler house (at the end of what we called the PO Path) to the dining hall, along the avenue, to the chapel and big school and the classroom blocks and the art school and the science school and ... blah blah. The section along the avenue was made big enough for large numbers of people to walk along, with utility/storage/drying rooms opening off it.

The whole set-up was quite normal for the period. If they had been feeling adventurous or extravagant, they might have put in a hydraulic power system like the one that powered the City of London, the docks and Tower Bridge, all from one central "power station" that delivered pressurized water. But they didn't. They just did what was standard practice.

I know nothing of the system extending to Sharpenhurst, but water pipes did come in from a reservoir there to feed the school's supply.

Re: Explanation of the 'Tube'

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:20 am
by jtaylor
My understanding was that Sharpenhurst had a reservoir, which is still there, and that this fed the water tower. The height of the water tower is just below the top of sharpenhurst, and as they were connected that provided the head of water to fill the water tank which used to be in the water tower (I believe it was dismantled and removed a number of years ago?)
So the tube doesn't go to Sharpenhurst - but the water pipes do.

J

Re: Explanation of the 'Tube'

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:55 am
by Fjgrogan
Following on from David's query and wildly off topic: if there are indeed any CH English teachers lurking, perhaps they could also look into the incipient habit of Blues, both Old and current, using the expression 'could of' when they really mean 'could have' - sorry, the pedant strikes again!

Re: Explanation of the 'Tube'

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:53 am
by sejintenej
Fjgrogan wrote:Following on from David's query and wildly off topic: if there are indeed any CH English teachers lurking, perhaps they could also look into the incipient habit of Blues, both Old and current, using the expression 'could of' when they really mean 'could have' - sorry, the pedant strikes again!
In these days of human rights, diversity et al, I suppose we are not allowed to criticise dialect, even if it comes from the lesser, unwashed and ill educated. After all, mask = mash = soak = wet = brew = make, bairns = childer = weans = children and I am = I is = I bin = I are = I be, all of these being accepted as proper in various places of the UK.
Yes, Frances, I also intensely dislike "could of"; that is definitely not eul (a word which Vièr Bliu might just recognise)

Re: Explanation of the 'Tube'

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:36 am
by Cazzro
Back onto topic :D what is the bunker on little side then ?

Re: Explanation of the 'Tube'

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:37 am
by Cazzro
sorry i mean sharpenhurst :P

Re: Explanation of the 'Tube'

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:42 am
by J.R.
and before we get back on topic, and YES this should go on the 'Pedants' thread........

I notice now the younger clientele when requesting drinks in my local Dorking hostelry, start the question with .....


"Can I Get a.. (a pint of whatever)...."

It really p1sses me off, and if I were standing 'behind the jump', I would respond with....

"Yes you can, but the moment you come round this side of the bar, I'll........."

Re: Explanation of the 'Tube'

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:20 pm
by Bathegg
so if the pipes lead to sharpenhurst then it must be as a subtunnel?? im pretty sure i saw a tunell down there. must look again soon

Re: Explanation of the 'Tube'

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:08 pm
by Cazzro
well if i ever make it to my Grecians who are allowed up there on their last night i will have a look at this "bunker" :)