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Article about the Tube

Posted: Fri May 29, 2020 9:36 pm
by Ever Bluer
Judging by the small print on the cover, it looks as though last month this magazine included an illustrated write-up of the Tube, in its various ramifications:

Image

The Subterranea Britannica website is here: https://www.subbrit.org.uk/

Re: Article about the Tube

Posted: Sat May 30, 2020 8:13 am
by loringa
The Subterranea Britannica website is full of fascinating stuff about abandoned underground sites including, amongst others, all the London Underground stations and spurs that are no longer used. It is well worth a few minutes (hours) of your isolation / lockdown time. Thanks for posting this - I look forward to investigating it further.

Re: Article about the Tube

Posted: Sat May 30, 2020 8:48 am
by Ajarn Philip
However, don't waste your time looking for the CH article on line!

Re: Article about the Tube

Posted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:20 pm
by charlesr
Ajarn Philip wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 8:48 am However, don't waste your time looking for the CH article on line!
Better late than never - it can be found (PDF) here: https://newsletter.christs-hospital.org ... ldihkuj-n/

I don't remember the tiles (at least not bright white) - I do recall the asbestos insulation round the pipes though

Re: Article about the Tube

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:15 am
by Straz
Thanks for posting this Charles.
It's fascinating, especially the map of the Tube system and photos of side tunnels, under the cloisters, chapel, etc.
I recall various bods managing to get in to these out of bounds sections of the Tube, but I was never brave enough myself.
Some years ago, my wife and I did a guided tour of the Tube on Old Blues Day.
This article helps to explain more fully what we saw on the day.

Oh, and I love the second article about the gent's lavs at the Swan & Sugar Loaf public house in Croydon. I never knew that 'spending a penny' was so life-threatening...

Re: Article about the Tube

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:12 pm
by dsm
Most interesting, thank you Charles. I attended CH in the 70s and don't remember the Tube being tiled in white. I do remember it being rather dim and very frightening as the side tunnels were always very dark. Never liked going down there on my own. In Thorn B one of the little rooms to the side of the main tube was used as a TV room for a while.

Re: Article about the Tube

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:08 pm
by Foureyes
Thank you Charles. A really interesting article with superb illustrations, which I have read with great enjoyment. In my time (1948-55) we used the Tube to march to Dining Hall when it was raining, with one of the side-rooms for storing trunks, and (I think) a drying room for wet sports clothes - and that was it. We must have been singularly lacking in curiosity as I cannot recall anyone exploring outside the line linking the boarding houses, although they might have done and not told the rest of us.

Two thoughts cross my mind. If the Cold War had become hot and the UK had been attacked, the staff and pupils of C.H. would have been down in the Tube and among the very few survivors - but only in term-time, of course.

Secondly, was there an equivalent facility at Hertford?

Once again, many thanks to Charles for posting such a very useful account.

David
Lamb B 1948-55

Re: Article about the Tube

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:07 pm
by Ajarn Philip
Yes, fascinating. I can clearly recall the musty smell of the Tube after all these years, and I also seem to remember quite a lot of puddles.

EDIT: on the subject of tunnels, I used to live in a house at the foot of the White Cliffs of Dover directly beneath Dover Castle. There was a bricked-up entrance to the tunnel network (which I'm sure must be covered in the magazine) at the bottom of my garden - I always promised myself I'd break in one day, but never quite got round to it.

Re: Article about the Tube

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 3:27 pm
by LongGone
There is an older thread about the Tube: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=4153&hilit=tunnel

Re: Article about the Tube

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 4:36 pm
by Foureyes
Many years ago and in a different existence I was the official keeper of the list of 'holes-in-the-ground.' From that I learnt two things. The first was that there were many more such holes than the public knew about, although most have since been declassified. The second was that there could be many more holes, which were not known about and not recorded.
For example, I was once contacted about a man who had been walking in a wood in Kent, who had stumbled on an overgrown and sealed doorway into a hillside. I checked it out and could find nothing in my records, nor could some others in the same business. To cut a long story short, after a lot of research we established that in 1942/43 someone had the bright idea of constructing an all-singing, all-dancing buried HQ in Kent as an alternative HQ for the commander during the proposed invasion of Europe (D-day). This HQ was duly built and fully kitted-out, all, of course, under the strictest secrecy. In the event, it was not wanted and there were no alternative uses for it, so the place was simply shut down, power and gas disconnected, any files on its existence - still graded Top Secret, of course - sent to the deepest of deep storage places, and the entrances bricked up and planted with bushes. So, it was quite simply forgotten until Joe Public was out walking his dog and ----.

So, if someone asks you if there any tunnels under your house, never say a positive 'no' because you could well be wrong.

On a related subject I once became interested in mines in Devon and Cornwall and spoke at length with the experts. The fact is that there are many known abandoned mine workings, which have been identified and recorded. But there is also an unknown number of unrecorded mines. It seems that the miners would find a likely looking site and then start digging, sometimes quite deep, before deciding that there was nothing there. They would then put wooden beams over the entrance to the shaft and cover it with a thick layer of earth, and then leave it to Mother nature to cover it all with vegetation - and within a year or two there was nothing to indicate what had once been there. Meanwhile, the miners had moved on to the next possible site and, since they had found nothing, there was no need to register the abandoned site with the powers-that-be. So, the fact that such sites exist is known, but nobody knows there they are unless .....

David

Re: Article about the Tube

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 5:33 pm
by sejintenej
Foureyes wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 4:36 pm Many years ago and in a different existence I was the official keeper of the list of 'holes-in-the-ground.' From that I learnt two things. The first was that there were many more such holes than the public knew about, although most have since been declassified. The second was that there could be many more holes, which were not known about and not recorded.
For example, I was once contacted about a man who had been walking in a wood in Kent, who had stumbled on an overgrown and sealed doorway into a hillside. I checked it out and could find nothing in my records, nor could some others in the same business. To cut a long story short, after a lot of research we established that in 1942/43 someone had the bright idea of constructing an all-singing, all-dancing buried HQ in Kent as an alternative HQ for the commander during the proposed invasion of Europe (D-day). This HQ was duly built and fully kitted-out, all, of course, under the strictest secrecy. In the event, it was not wanted and there were no alternative uses for it, so the place was simply shut down, power and gas disconnected, any files on its existence - still graded Top Secret, of course
Close to me there is a Cold War underground HQ (not the one that politicians would have used) which is now open to the public. The outward appearance is a cottage with an artificial hill behind iy covering the HQ. They say there is more than 100 feet of earth on top but I don't know how much protection it would have had in any attack.
Interesfing to see the ancient equipment that the Civil Defence section of the CCF trained with.

Re: Article about the Tube

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 6:23 pm
by Katharine
Foureyes wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:08 pm Two thoughts cross my mind. If the Cold War had become hot and the UK had been attacked, the staff and pupils of C.H. would have been down in the Tube and among the very few survivors - but only in term-time, of course.

Secondly, was there an equivalent facility at Hertford?
If there was, I never learnt about it!!! Each house had its cellars, in 6s we used the first room you came too as the place to clean shoes so we went there every evening. Cases - we didn't have trunks - were stored in the second room. I vaguely remember trying to explore further but can't remember any details so I don't think it was exciting!