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Report - Longbridge Underground Tunnels - East Works - February 2012

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by urb'n'dub, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. urb'n'dub

    urb'n'dub 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Longbridge Underground Tunnels - East Works

    About time I shared these……………probably the most interesting site I’ve ever visited to document. Again, credit to all those who have managed to gain access to any of the networks underneath Longbridge prior to this visit. Don’t know how many people have documented it down here in recent years.

    Won’t go into loads of history, but for you guys that don’t know here’s a little bit :D

    In 1936, and aswel as the Shadow Factories that existed, an extensive network of tunnels began construction.
    Longbridge was commissioned for an underground factory, which was built underneath Groveley Lane, where aircraft engines and associated components were assembled during WW2.
    By March 1940 tunnels were constructed to link other parts of the works site. These underground tunnels were capable of accommodating 10,000 workers mainly in the South Works.

    This fantastic image shows the tunnel entrances on East works, next to the Aero Factory, being visited by the Ministry of Supply.

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    Working underground was really an ingenious idea, production of all war aid could carry on as normal, and comply with Blackout regulations, and all the time stay out of site of the over head Luftwaffe bombers.

    Another brilliant image from history records, showing the women of Longbridge assembling crankcases for aero engines underneath the Flight Shed on East Works.

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    I teamed up with DubLeo and with regards to the trip itself, it was mid February and we couldn’t of picked a better day to be honest, as the fog cover was like an intense sludge smothering the air.
    Works had already started on East works for the new housing developments, but all seemed quiet at the time.
    Was a tight squeeze getting inside and was slightly cumbersome for someone who is quite tall!
    I had anticipated poor lighting, so was carrying a spotlight torch as well as other smaller backups, However once inside you realize how fuckin’ dark this place really is, and with lights off you realize that absolutely no natural light can penetrate inside, I literally couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.
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    Was a stunning site to see, the iconic ‘ribcage’ styled support rig that ladder the length of the tunnels and are comparable with the images from the war.

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    We began to map out the layout of the tunnels in our head, and sussed that it was a ladder type layout, with lots of smaller interconnecting passageway’s joining the two main tunnel components. Off of these smaller connections were little rooms, and smaller passageways that lead round tight corners into even darker spaces. The inside was eerily silent, but curiosity overwhelmed us and we tried to explore some of the smaller rooms.

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    Not the way we got in…..but possibly the way out? I assumed this would lead onto the sight of the Flight Shed, which now was directly above us.

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    Anyone on here I wonder…….?

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    We came across a shanty looking staircase that lead upwards, and followed it up to the top where we started to see a light source, in which we came across a red door…looking out we were now on the site of the Flight Shed.

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    We descended back down the staircase and back into the darkness

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    Upon leaving the tunnels it was like a pair of shadow demons emerging after a 100 year hibernation, both of us struggled to cope with even the dullest of daylight for about 15 minutes after the trip…was just so damn dark in there :eek:

    It was probably one of the most interesting places I’ve ever visited, and knowing the history behind it only heightened the experience. I still struggle to understand why any of the Longbridge relics were never credited, considering the amount of support they provided in protecting our nation! :crazy
    East works was basically flattened to make way for housing, the flight shed has been demolished and now I wonder what does the future hold for these tunnels.

    The last I heard, they were going to be backfilled to stop people like us entering, however I can’t see how they can be destroyed completely as they lie right underneath Groveley lane…..maybe they will lie untouched for another 100 years, maybe even longer.

    Longbridge has provided so much for our nation, whether it was war aid or in more recent times car production, I just kind of think it could have had official recognition before being smashed to pieces in the manner that it was.
    I hope that any posts relating to Longbridge can help resurrect these historical gems and try to keep the story of Longbridge alive, as I believe it deserves to be credited.

    Please check the video link at the bottom!

    Thanks for reading,

    Urbandub


    Longbridge Underground Tunnels - YouTube

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Akro-Media/357729147666240
     

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