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Earlier this year I went on one of the tours of the Victoria Tunnel run by the Ouseburn Trust. It's something I've always wanted to do, and found it very interesting, despite the guy giving the tour trying his damnedest to bore us. Seriously, I don't know why they would pick someone with such desperate lack of social skills to lead a walking tour, which apparently he does all over Newcastle. Anyway, there was another bloke from the OUseburn Trust there, who was considerably more interesting, and he was saying that when the renovation/ construction work on the Hancock Museum was underway, the design team asked the Trust if they would like to get into the upper part of the Victoria Tunnel to have a look around. The Trust said 'Yes please', and did some investigations up there. In case you don't know, there are entrance doors to the tunnel just below the Museum on Claremont Road. After the Trust had had a good look around, the Great North Museum team said something along the lines of "Would you like to pay for us to put some nice new doors on that?" The Trust said no, don't be silly, and there's a general feeling that the museum missed a trick by not incorporating the historical mine tunnel/ air raid shelter that runs almost below the building into the scheme. Sorry, that seems a bit rambly now I read it back, but the guy was a bit rambly....
 

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Earlier this year I went on one of the tours of the Victoria Tunnel run by the OUseburn Trust. It's something I've always wanted to do, and found it very interesting, despite the guy giving the tour trying his damnedest to bore us. Seriously, I don't know why they would pick someone with such desperate lack of social skills to lead a walking tour, which apparently he does all over Newcastle. Anyway, there was another bloke from the OUseburn Trust there, who was considerably more interesting, and he was saying that when the renovation/ construction work on the Hancock Museum was underway, the design team asked the Trust if they would like to get into the upper part of the Victoria Tunnel to have a look around. The Trust said 'Yes please', and did some investigations up there. In case you don't know, there are entrance doors to the tunnel just below the Museum on Claremont Road. After the Trust had had a good look around, the Great North Museum team said something along the lines of "Would you like to pay for us to put some nice new doors on that?" The Trust said no, don't be silly, and there's a general feeling that the museum missed a trick by not incorporating the historical mine tunnel/ air raid shelter that runs almost below the building into the scheme. Sorry, that seems a bit rambly now I read it back, but the guy was a bit rambly....
Shame, I've always fancies checking out Victoria tunnel... Do you know if it is complete all the way from Claremont Road to Ouseburn still?
 

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The tour just went as far as the top of Stepney Bank (The bright yellow manhole cover opposite the Tanners), but I think much of it is still there in various states of disrepair to just past the Great North Museum, where it's been backfilled. Still worth a visit if they're still doing the tours. I know they were limited to a short period of time to do them as it was free and funded by some charity money. I don't know whether I'm being too corporate or encouraging them down a wrong track, but I really think they should charge a small fee, ditch the anoraks of the Ouseburn Trust and hire some irritatingly chirpy student to do tours, maybe have a gift shop, and don't talk down what's already there- for example, when we went, there's a bit that's been installed that's the kind of atmospheric audio things like museums have with the sounds of coal carriages rolling down the tunnel, and workmen and stuff, and later on there's a similar one with the sounds of an air-raid, and all the kids coming in with their families into the dark with their packed dinners, everyone scared etc etc. It all would have worked very well if he hadn't been like "Ok, just wait here, I've got to go over here and switch this button on, and then it turns on an audio presentation of the sounds of an air raid...." as if he thought it was a pile of toss and he didn't see why people should be wowed by that when he could tell them about the strange wobbly stalagtites that apparently 'nobody knows why they're wobbly' (strange, I'd have thought the place would have been swarming with famous scientists if they'd discovered a rock formation unlike any anywhere else in the world, and not liable to be accidentally knocked off by somone's helmet as happened to one bloke on our trip. Anorak was not amused). There was also an art installation near the entrance which apparently "Has flashing lights and stuff. I'm not sure what it's supposed to be" (or words to that effect). This was offerred to us just before we exited, and after what seemed like days of this man's boring drivvle, we were just desperate to see some air and have a pint in the Cluny!
 

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Hi, I'm new to this forum and have been enjoying reading the threads in this sub forum so thought I'd post.

Shame, I've always fancies checking out Victoria tunnel... Do you know if it is complete all the way from Claremont Road to Ouseburn still?
I remember reading on the urban exploration forums a couple of years back (http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/, sorry can't find the thread) about people exploring the Victoria Tunnel. They did both ends (Ouesburn & Claremont Road), apparently part of the middle section is now a sewer.
 

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News release from NCC: 01/12/2009

Whatever the weather is like, you can be guaranteed an unusual tour that’s not too cold or wet inside the Victoria Tunnel this winter.

This underground waggonway and air raid shelter opened for guided tours earlier this year and the free tours will continue throughout the winter months.

The Victoria Tunnel reopened in May 2009 with funding from One NorthEast and the Heritage Lottery Fund and since then, nearly 4000 people have visited on tours led by volunteer guides.

Some visitors could remember sheltering in the Tunnel during the Second World War and shared their memories of what it was like. A 1940 threepence coin was recently discovered as well as the lid of a gent’s pocket watch, dated 1883.

Marian Jones, Heritage Volunteer Support Officer, said: “We thought we knew all there was to know about the Tunnel but these new stories and finds have shed more light on the history of the tunnel and the people who used it. It’s definitely worth coming on a tour this winter - it is always a mild 12c in the Tunnel, only slightly damp and much more fun than battling the weather and Christmas shoppers in town!”

A full Tunnel Tour takes you 700m along the tunnel and 26m underground. It lasts about 2 hours and starts from Ouseburn Farm. There are 30 minute short tours available which are wheelchair accessible.

Public tours run on Thursday evenings, Friday and Saturday. Group tours are available on request and spaces are limited to 12 people per tour so booking is essential.

For a current tour programme and a booking request form, visit www.newcastlecommunityheritage.org/victoriatunnel or phone 0191 232 3698.

.
 

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News release from NCC: 01/12/2009

Whatever the weather is like, you can be guaranteed an unusual tour that’s not too cold or wet inside the Victoria Tunnel this winter.

This underground waggonway and air raid shelter opened for guided tours earlier this year and the free tours will continue throughout the winter months.

The Victoria Tunnel reopened in May 2009 with funding from One NorthEast and the Heritage Lottery Fund and since then, nearly 4000 people have visited on tours led by volunteer guides.

Some visitors could remember sheltering in the Tunnel during the Second World War and shared their memories of what it was like. A 1940 threepence coin was recently discovered as well as the lid of a gent’s pocket watch, dated 1883.

Marian Jones, Heritage Volunteer Support Officer, said: “We thought we knew all there was to know about the Tunnel but these new stories and finds have shed more light on the history of the tunnel and the people who used it. It’s definitely worth coming on a tour this winter - it is always a mild 12c in the Tunnel, only slightly damp and much more fun than battling the weather and Christmas shoppers in town!”

A full Tunnel Tour takes you 700m along the tunnel and 26m underground. It lasts about 2 hours and starts from Ouseburn Farm. There are 30 minute short tours available which are wheelchair accessible.

Public tours run on Thursday evenings, Friday and Saturday. Group tours are available on request and spaces are limited to 12 people per tour so booking is essential.

For a current tour programme and a booking request form, visit www.newcastlecommunityheritage.org/victoriatunnel or phone 0191 232 3698.
This is a really unique place . . .

These doors lead to the Hancock Museum (now 'Great North Museum) entrance


The most 'northerly' part of the tunnel, where it has been blocked off


Blast wall between Claremont Road & Hancock Museum entrances showing WWII signage.


Reinforced section under the Quayside Branch Railway tunnel.



There are lots more PHOTOS and other information here (from Section 6 of the "WEBSITES" thread) . . .
http://www.victoriatunnel.info/Introduction.html
 

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A few questions about this photo, to get "the old grey cells" working . . .

1 - What is this the name of this place?

2 - Where is it / what is it 'next to' now?

3 - An idea of the year of this photo would be useful?

 

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A few questions about this photo, to get "the old grey cells" working . . .

1 - What is this the name of this place?

2 - Where is it / what is it 'next to' now?

3 - An idea of the year of this photo would be useful?

1 - Victoria Tunnel

2 - Barras Bridge /St Thomas the Martyr Church( pretty sure that's St Marys Place in background)

3 - could be WW2 years, as there was an entrance built in the church grounds to be used as an air raid shelter. Is this it?
 

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It's a excellent photo! And shows very well the low level frontage of the building, which I read was because the Riverside Branch Tunnel ran directly below, so it couldn't take the weight of a full height building.



Not sure if that is fact or urban myth, though.

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It's a excellent photo! And shows very well the low level frontage of the building, which I read was because the Riverside Branch ran in a tunnel below and couldn't take the weight of a full height building. Not sure if that is fact or urban myth, though.
You may be right WilfBurnsfan. As can be seen from the 1942 map extract there is/was a tunnel running from the main line to the riverside branch line. Beavans is just over the top of it.



Cheers
GBDT
 

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Queries from a newbie

Hi. A complain and then a request for help.

I'd like firstly to complain that this site has sucked several hours out of my life since I stumbled upon it yesterday! What an amazing resource of information and pictures and links. I'm always fascinated with the past and how things were and what used to stand where and even the proposals that never happened. Even changes since I started knocking around Newcastle in the late 80s I find fascinating and only wish I could have better recall (hypnotic regression anyone?) :nuts:

And now onto some burning questions I have that I hope someone may be able to help with -

1. Quayside Railway Branch - especially the underground section. Does anyone know anything about this section which apparently ran from or nearby Manors? I saw on a previous post about the Victoria Tunnel that one section of it goes under, or above, the Quayside railway underground section. Any pics or plans?

2. Metrocentre - anyone have any old (relatively speaking!) pics, plans or store plans for the shopping mall since its opening?

3. Weird tower or spire behind Paramount/Odeon building. I came across a photograph (not sure where, perhaps on the Library stream) of the buildings that were there before the Paramount/Odeon complex was build and behind them was a HUGE tower or spire. It scared the bejeezus out of me as I had no idea what it could belong to. Any ideas anyone and even better can anyone find the pic?

I know it's a lot to ask from a newbie but you guys seem to love a challenge!

Regards :cheers:

F
 

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1. Quayside Railway Branch - especially the underground section. Does anyone know anything about this section which apparently ran from or nearby Manors? I saw on a previous post about the Victoria Tunnel that one section of it goes under, or above, the Quayside railway underground section. Any pics or plans?
F
I have no pics or plans, but the curved grass area on this link between Lime Street and Tarset Street is apparently part of the route of the tunnel:

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=%22lime+street%22+newcastle&sll=53.800651,-4.042969&sspn=19.773582,56.90918&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Lime+St,+Newcastle+Upon+Tyne,+Tyne+And+Wear+NE1,+United+Kingdom&ll=54.973479,-1.592293&spn=0.002337,0.008991&t=h&z=18

I've heard that when it was decommissioned the ends of the tunnel were simply blocked up, so there is still a void under there?
 

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Hi. A complain and then a request for help.

I'd like firstly to complain that this site has sucked several hours out of my life since I stumbled upon it yesterday! What an amazing resource of information and pictures and links. I'm always fascinated with the past and how things were and what used to stand where and even the proposals that never happened. Even changes since I started knocking around Newcastle in the late 80s I find fascinating and only wish I could have better recall (hypnotic regression anyone?) :nuts:

And now onto some burning questions I have that I hope someone may be able to help with -

1. Quayside Railway Branch - especially the underground section. Does anyone know anything about this section which apparently ran from or nearby Manors? I saw on a previous post about the Victoria Tunnel that one section of it goes under, or above, the Quayside railway underground section. Any pics or plans?
One end of the tunnel was opposite Blackfriars on New Bridge St- where the bus stop is- the Metro line will run very close to it. The other end was on the Quayside below St Annes Church and ran under the land between Tarset St and Lime St.
 

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1. Quayside Railway Branch - especially the underground section. Does anyone know anything about this section which apparently ran from or nearby Manors? I saw on a previous post about the Victoria Tunnel that one section of it goes under, or above, the Quayside railway underground section. Any pics or plans?
I've just given myself a headache trying to remember where I had seen it on a map, and after some searching found this on flickr:

MASSIVE 1942 Map of Ouseburn and Heaton

I've not put the image in my post because it is HUGE! Look in the bottom left of the map and it shows you the Ouseburn part of the line. It shows where the Victoria Tunnel and the Quayside Branch tunnels cross.
 

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I've just given myself a headache trying to remember where I had seen it on a map, and after some searching found this on flickr:

MASSIVE 1942 Map of Ouseburn and Heaton

I've not put the image in my post because it is HUGE! Look in the bottom left of the map and it shows you the Ouseburn part of the line. It shows where the Victoria Tunnel and the Quayside Branch tunnels cross.

Thanks to Nadj, Graham56 and Deebex :banana:
 

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Pictures of the riverside end of the Quayside Railway tunnel

Hi all

Just found these pictures on the SINE and flickr sites. According to the guy on the flickr site this was definitely the exit below St Anne's church where the Tyne View flats are now located.

Hope these links work cos they didn't last time!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinzac55/3546423887/in/photostream/

http://sine.ncl.ac.uk/view_image.asp?digital_doc_id=4894

And finally an earlier view of the flickr photo -

http://sine.ncl.ac.uk/view_image.asp?digital_doc_id=4895

Hope you enjoy these

F
 

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Former pit worker gets tour of Victoria Tunnel
by Tony Henderson, The Journal, January 21st 2011



IT was a subterranean celebration for Alan McKenzie’s 70th birthday.

Alan, who lives in Ashington, Northumberland, comes from a mining family and worked for nine years from the age of 15 at Hazlerigg and Weetslade collieries on the edges of Newcastle.

So daughter-in-law Joanne, who is married to Alan’s son Stuart and also lives in Ashington, had the idea of laying on a special tour of the Victoria Tunnel under Newcastle as a birthday surprise.

The listed tunnel, opened in 1842 to transport coal from Spital Tongues colliery to the Tyne, runs for more than two miles beneath the city.

During the Second World War it served as an air raid shelter for up to 9,000 people.

It was forgotten at the war’s end, but now a 700-metre stretch of the tunnel in the Lower Ouseburn Valley has been re-opened for tours led by heritage volunteers.

Alan’s father was a colliery under-manager who worked at a number of North East pits including Hazlerigg, Weetslade and the Rising Sun at Wallsend.


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-news/2011/01/21/former-pit-worker-get-tour-of-victoria-tunnel-61634-28027327/#ixzz1BgQpnXx3
 

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One end of the tunnel was opposite Blackfriars on New Bridge St- where the bus stop is- the Metro line will run very close to it. The other end was on the Quayside below St Annes Church and ran under the land between Tarset St and Lime St.
Some information of the Quayside Branch Line, source is ‘Ouseburn Heritage’ by Newcastle upon Tyne Planning Division Development Department’

A railway was agreed in 1845, but the proposed 1 in 30 gradient of this short line was too steep for engines at the time. It was eventually opened on 1st June 1870.

It curved off the main line into a tunnel from Manors Station/Trafalgar Street Sidings next to Carruthers Grain Warehouse where bulk grain wagons off-loaded. The tunnel at this point was close to the junction of New Bridge Street and Gibson Street.

A cutting next to Lime Street went into the tunnel again under St Anns Yard crossing just above the Victoria Tunnel before emerging onto the Quayside at Hamburg Wharf joining track laid there by Newcastle Corporation.

The two separate tunnel are still in situ with both ends sealed up and more or less hidden from view. The tunnels are separated by a cutting which runs parallel to the West of Lime Street - the cutting is still discernible.

The westerly winds blew smoke from the steam locomotives back into the Trafalgar Street tunnel entrance as they laboured uphill. The crews could not see nor breathe properly. Reputedly the wheels often slipped on wet rails and the blinded driver had to push a shovel against the tunnel wall to see if noise of it scraping meant the engine was moving. As both ends of the tunnel faced West there was an insufficient draught to disperse the smoke.

Two special locomotives were built in 1904 to overcome these problems on the newly electrified line. A third-rail-pickup was used in the tunnels, but because of the danger to shunters, overhead pantographs were used in the yards and quayside.

Replaced by Class 03 diesel shunters in 1964, one of these unique loco's survived and it is preserved in Shildon Railway Museum.

The Quayside line closed on 16 June 1969 because of the reduced river trade. The cutting and the ends of the tunnels have been filled in.[/B]

It is interesting to note that whilst the Quayside Branch Line passes over the earlier Victoria Tunnel, it did compromise the VT by cutting through the roof arch requiring repair and strengthening.
 
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