April 30th, 2013

Victoria Tunnel, Newcastle - August 2013

The Victoria Tunnel was built between 1839 and 1842 to transport wagons of coal from the now-demolished Spital Tongues colliery down to Ouseburn where it was loaded onto boats and transported along the River Tyne. With the closure of the colliery in 1860, the tunnel lay largely unused and abandoned until being refitted as a bomb shelter in WWII where blast walls, beds, benches and toilets were added as well as several entrances along it's length for the thousands who would huddle down it's 2 1/2 mile length during air raids.

As Newcastle grew, part of the tunnel was used for sewerage and the area around Central Motorway was bricked up.

Having been on a couple of the public tours of the lower half, kindly organised by the Ouseburn Trust, I have long been keen to explore the 'inaccessible' North-West end of the tunnel. After over a year of trying I am glad to have finally been able to explore this piece of local history. Thanks to CommunistCat and Pigeon for tip-offs both direct and indirect.

Now, on with the pictures. These are from two trips, both with CommunistCat but with TheStig joining us for the revisit where we brought some light-painting toys.