Early views of the tunnels

We hope that everyone is coping with staying at home during these hard and very strange times. As the Tunnels are currently closed, we don’t have any updates or real news to report, so let’s have a look back at some views of the Tunnels in those early days, long before we started our Big Dig.

Paddington was our first Big Dig, the chambers being last explored around 1925 before being filled in, sealed up and forgotten about. That was until 1999, when FoWT rediscovered this fascinating set of what would turn out to be the staggering cathedral like chambers, that they are today. It took 4 years for our team of dedicated and hard-working volunteers to empty these chambers of approximately 1500 tons of infill, using 159 skips, all completely by hand.

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Mile Tunnel when full of rubble
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The infill in Level 2 lit by candles
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The infill in Level 2 lit by candles

Little did we know that these filled chambers in Paddington would eventually extend down to 60ft below street level. The photos were taken just days after their rediscovery. See just how close the infill was to the brick arched roof, this infill was to be removed during our Epic Big Dig…

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The wonderful multi Arch with the late Steve Moran
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Arch in Level 3 looking toward what is now Level 4, the amazing cathedral like chamber
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Arch in Level 3 looking toward what is now Level 4

This impressively constructed Sandstone Arch with its precisely carved blocks of stone. To access here and beyond used to involve descending a long ladder, through a man hole on the surface. Fall arrest harnesses where in use when ascending or descending this ladder for safety.

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The Sandstone Arch
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Les haviong come out of the Gash into the Sandstone Arch

The Wine Bins with its nice Elliptical Arch. The Bins themselves and the Bishops Mitre Arch, with some nice hidden features that we were yet to discover.

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Wine Bins

The Banqueting Hall and Gash are located under Joseph Williamson’s House Site on Mason Street. Who remembers the “Ski Slope” at the far end? This steep slope of infill was definitely worth the climb to the top for the amazing view. Little did we know that our digging was to reveal a trench as you exit the Gash, meaning that another climb was necessary to access the Banqueting Hall. We would also be surprised that in this trench in the Banqueting Hall, we would find an entrance into a large chamber alongside. Amazing

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Inside the Banqueting Hall, with the Gash and Gothic Arch
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Inside the Banqueting Hall, looking towards the ski slope
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The view from the top of the ski slope. note the dumped metal garage rubbish as well as infill
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Inside the Gash, looking towards the Banqueting Hall

Take Care, Keep Safe and Well

A new Journey of a Bucket

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Several years ago, we made our Journey of a Bucket video. In it, we filmed the progress of one of our hundreds of buckets, from being filled down in the depths of Paddington’s Level 4 through its journey to the skip.

We decided to do a similar video but this time in the Subterranean chambers of Joseph Williamson’s House. This time, we filmed how we are currently getting our buckets of infill out from the Magnet Chamber, into the Banqueting Hall and then up to the surface.

You can watch both the original and new Journey of a Bucket video’s here.



We hope you enjoyed both of these videos, you can see even more of our videos on the Friends of Williamson’s Tunnels YouTube Channel

 

 

Mysterious Blue Plaque appears at Williamson’s house

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Wiliamson’s house front, with the mystery Plaque

A very strange thing has happened. On opening the Mason Street gate onto the house site for the first dig of 2020, we received quite a shock.

Up on the wall of Joseph Williamson’s house façade is a new blue plaque, not one of the official English Heritage Plaques, but never the less a nice blue oval plaque with details about the house front and FoWT.

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The mystery Plaque

The mystery is, we have no idea who created or even fitted the plaque. The plaque appeared sometime during the Christmas & New Year break. Of course, we are delighted to see it in place and would love to know who put it there, we send our thanks to that anonymous, mystery person.

Members meetings 2020 – Important Announcement

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A few weeks ago, we announced that we had changed the location of our monthly members meetings to give easier access for our members attending our meetings.

We agreed with the owners of Grand Central Hall on Renshaw Street, Liverpool to hold our meetings in Bar Racine. Sadly, we have been contacted by the owners, just over a week before the first meeting, with the news that they had sold Bar Racine and that we can no longer hold our meetings there.

This is devastating news, which leaves us more than a little panicked to get a meeting location confirmed.

In the interim, we have arranged for the February and March meeting to be in the The Quaker Meeting House, 22 School Ln, Liverpool L1 3BT. See the location map of the Quaker Meeting House

We are urgently seeking a replacement venue for our meetings, so please watch this space for news on future meetings.

The Trustees and volunteers apologise for unavoidable problem.

FoWT Feature in new TV documentary

“Underground Worlds” the series trailer. Follow this link to watch the complete episode 3, featuring FoWT

 

A few months ago, “Phoenix Television” spent a busy few days with us at the Williamson’s Tunnels in order to film a new upcoming, 10 part TV series “Underground Worlds“.

Tom, Kaitlyn & Chris took part in the filming. Tom & Chris Spent a few days being followed by the camera, being intervied and doing what seemed the silliest thing, Noddies (looking at the camera and nodding)! These few days in front of the camera were enjoyable, but it was also one of the most stressful few days too.

We have had confirmation as to when the series and of course more importantly, our episode will air.

Transmission of the 10 part series starts on Wednesday 25th September 2019 at 8pm on the Yesterday Channel. It has now been confirmed that our particular episode, is No: 5 of 10 and will be transmitted on Wednesday 23rd October 2019 – but do keep an eye out in case the transmission order or dates change, it has already changed once in the last 2 days.

For our American members, the series will be transmitted in America too on a date and channel yet to be announced.

Put it in your diaries and enjoy 😊


Updated (Sat 05/10/2019)

I have been told that the schedule of this excellent new 10 part series, Underground Worlds may have been changed. I believe the Episode featuring #FoWT will now Air on Wednesday 9th October at 8 pm on the Yesterday Channel.

Be sure to tune in, we hope you enjoy it…


Updated (Fri 18/10/2019)

The Series of Underground Worlds, can be watched online on UKTV Play on demand.

The compete episode 3, of Underground Worlds, which featured the Williamson’s Tunnels and FoWT can be seen by following this link:

“Underground Worlds”, Episode 3 – featuring FoWT

We have been delighted to receive some very positive feedback following our episode. It would seem that this TV series has done very well and as a result, we were also featured in an article by the Daily Mirror newspaper about the Underground Worlds, you can see this online article here:

Daily Mirror newspaper article – “Underground Worlds”, featuring FoWT