So, the underground tunnels...

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Farnaz
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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by Farnaz » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:17 pm

Didn't Crispin Ashcroft run away with a suitcase into the tunnels?
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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by J.R. » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:21 am

Farnaz wrote:Didn't Crispin Ashcroft run away with a suitcase into the tunnels?

Sounds like something from 'The Great Escape' !
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Farnaz
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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by Farnaz » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:24 pm

He didn't get far, he was back in Greek and Latin class in no time. The other boys were not nice to him and he was generally misunderstood, sad.
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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by Thepuss » Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:34 pm

Westondonkey wrote:
Roger Martin cleaned out one of the rooms, put in some printing equipment and called it 'The Gallows Press'
He did indeed... It was running a few years before I arrived, although he "relaunched" it in 76-77 and I joined it as a hobby and ultimately ran it myself until I left... and very profitable it was too! The room we originally used was... well as you went down into the tube from the central lobby of the Barnes block, the trunk room was immediately ahead at the bottom of the stairs, "The Gallows" was the first proper room if you turned left (there was a store cupboard just before it, I think).

As a result of this "position" I was officially allow down the tube any time I liked. We move to the first room on the right, on the ground floor of the Prep Block in about 1981, as they started getting concerned about the state of the tube, but also because there was quite a lot of relagging going on down there.

Incidentally, the drying rooms were great places for trying to brew beer...

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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by wurzel » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:26 pm

If you mean the 2nd door on the right in the Prep block (first was a classroom used by Bob Hailey for French) then that is the room which was re-opened in the mid 80's by Neil Fleming who was then assistant housemaster LHB as a darkroom - it was a small strange shaped room due to the turn of the building to the right by 45 degrees at that point

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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by Tommy » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:37 am

Holy thread revival Batman!

I have quickly put together a very basic map of where I believe the tube ran (not having investigated much of it I cannot be sure) - please excuse my computer skills as this is not something I am good at!

Can anyone reflect on how accurate/inaccurate this is? It'd be fascinating to know.

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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by Avon » Sun May 05, 2013 6:55 am

Yes, that seems about right. ISTR a spur that ran S into Big School a bit. The tube that ran N to the pool was a more modest affair and known as the kettle.

The infirmary spur ran N from between Maine and LH and was quite spooky.

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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by eucsgmrc » Sun May 05, 2013 10:13 am

I don't think the tube extended as far as the station. Its northern end was at the boilerhouse, which was in the same building with the gym and swimming pool - i.e., just beyond the post office.

The original function of the tube was to house the pipes that distributed hot water from the boilerhouse all around the school for heating. Until about 1956, when the school got connected to the mains and converted to AC, the boilerhouse also ran DC generators, and I imagine the cabling also ran through the tube. The railway station was never part of the school, and I can't see any reason why the tube would need to go to it.
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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by Tommy » Sun May 05, 2013 5:25 pm

The map I've got isn't very large and as stated my editing skills are rubbish, so it's not supposed to show going as far as the station. IIRC there was a little spur that went as far as the Estate Staff's little clubhouse (fairly near to the Old Gym/Swimming Pool building) in the 80s.

I heard that someone pilfered some beer from there and their escape was made down the tunnel nearby. Can't confirm this though...
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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by wurzel » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:53 pm

Tube def stopped at boilerhouse/laundry just on station side of the swimming pool - it was also a very narrow tube under little side (runs parralel to road other side of tree line as you could see in about half way between the club and the junction for a while in late 80's as a cover had collapsed (about where the letter "A" comes up when you search CH on googlemaps) - it was only about 3' wide unlike the main tube which was wide enough to march 4 abreast down and had wider bits under some houses (maine springs to mind). The spur for sicker departed from main tube just to the west of the LH centre hall entrance and ran under the small car park between st edwards chapel and grimshaws garden - it was not full height but set off about half way up the wall so would have been a crawl space more than anything. The only thing east of the LHA centre hall entrance was the drying room (until it was filled with boilers in 1984ish). Although i do remember stories that the sicker tube wider again at the sicker to give an underground route to the mortuary from the sicker (not sure if true though).

Also just east of Sillets garden shed (LHB housemaster) was a manhole - under that was a huge valve which was the connection to Horsham mains water as when the sharpenhurst water was declared iffy in the mid 80's (little red swimmy things in your glass) i remember then spending most of a day fighting their way through undergrowth and rust to get it switched over. Although that manhole was in line with the east west main line of the tube there was definitely no tube under it by that point

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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by Tommy » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:40 pm

Some pics from down the Tube today:

In under Peele

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Remember it's old and a bit crumbly under there

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"Trunk" room under Thornton, including old suitcase.

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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by Tommy » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:43 pm

The "spur" tunnel which goes under the chapel. The yellow supports were a "bodge job" apparently. The newer bricks support the main Avenue that runs in front of the boarding houses.

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Main support joist under the main stairwell of one of the boarding houses. This has to be replaced - and will take a LOT of planning and careful scaffolding. If not, the house might fall down...

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Due to acid build up last century, a lot of the metal supports are rotting, along with the concrete.

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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by Tommy » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:45 pm

Access tunnel down to where the old swimming pool was. You can only crawl down this tunnel apparently and a lot of it has caved in.

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Main tube (under Maine & Barnes I believe). You can see the "new" brickwork and fire doors which were put in about 14 years ago.

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As Wurzel says, there is an access tunnel that goes off to the Sicker (Sorry, Medical Centre now!) bewteen Maine and Leigh Hunt. This is it. It is in fact a small access tunnel that's only good for crawling through and there's not much need to go down there. So the wall that they've built is "sacrifical" and is knocked in when access is needed.

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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by dsmg » Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:54 am

Very interesting, brings back some memories. I always remember it (in the 70s) as being so dark and very scary. We always used to run parts of it with our hearts in our mouth. For a time a room under Thorn B was used as a tv room. Don't think it lasted very long though.
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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by J.R. » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:03 pm

DAVE:

Did you take these with a high quality flash, or has the school actually put some decent illumination down there ? As dsmg said - The tube was always mostly in darkness and a cold dreary place.
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