When I was a boy I loved reading about ‘Wonders of the World.’ Not merely the Ancient Wonders like the Colossus of Rhodes but also the more modern ones, such as the Grand Coulee Dam. It never occurred to me to wonder how a thing got ‘Wonder of the World’ status and it still doesn’t. So I hereby present our very own Liverpool and Wirral Wonder of the World: The Mersey Tunnel.
There was a railway tunnel before it, and another road one after it, but say ‘The Mersey Tunnel’ round here and everyone knows where you’re talking about. It’s our Wonder of the World.
I’ve always loved it but never thought of seriously exploring it until one of those September Heritage days a couple of years back when Sarah suggested we go and have a look. So we did, and she took a load of pictures. But since I wasn’t writing a blog then, they’ve lain unused.
Then last Friday, when I took this photograph of the lovely George’s Dock ventilation and control station at the start of my North Docks walk, I remembered our visit to the Mersey Tunnel in 2011 and decided I would now write about it.
Pier Head, Liverpool. The George’s Dock Ventilation and Control Centre for the Mersey Tunnel.
First, a bit of history.
When it was opened in 1933, then ‘officially’ opened here in 1934 by a passing king and queen, this was the longest underwater road tunnel in the world.
It had taken over eight years to build and of its 1,700 workers, seventeen had lost their lives during the dirty and dangerous work of its construction. Continue reading