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Lead or Rumour info - Marsh & Baxter Deep Level Shelter

Discussion in 'Leads, Rumours and News...' started by Dragon's Lair, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Dragon's Lair

    Dragon's Lair 28DL Full Member
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    Anyone remember this thread from a few years back? Sadly now deleted, but contained some interesting info.
    I have continued researching the tunnels and MAY have located an entrance. Sadly for me I do not posses the necessary ninja and photographic skills to attempt it. Would anyone local in the West Mids be interested in giving it a try?
    If so, send me a P.M. for more info.

    Cheers
    Dragon's Lair
     

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  2. mjcrewy

    mjcrewy 28DL Full Member
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    A great find if it comes off. A must for all you B'Hill folks
     
  3. bubblehead

    bubblehead you lost the game
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    contact me through my e-mail below :thumb
     
  4. shiftytigger

    shiftytigger 28DL Full Member
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    I did contribute to that thread , as I believe the original info on the siting or remains were flawed. According to my own personal comparisons and limited local knowledge I believe that there is an existing entrance and the sidings may be gone but the location remains at least visible.

    Would be interested to see if others went anywhere with this as I drove my family crazy with it - as my parents grew up in the area too.
     
  5. sntay1

    sntay1 28DL Member
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    Hi
    At 15 years of age I walked someway into the tunnel I am now 64yrs I have very good recolection of where I entered the tunnel as I worked at Marsh and baxters carriage works mill street b/hill can I be of any help.
     
  6. Dragon's Lair

    Dragon's Lair 28DL Full Member
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    Hi sntay1,
    I would be very interested to talk to you more about this. Unfortunately I'm a bit pushed at the moment. I MAY have a copy of all the posts from the original thread, somewhere. I also have a photo of the portal. Will try to bring it up to date next week. I have info from a H&V engineer who worked in the section between the boiler house and the cottage st entrance too.

    Cheers
    Dragon's Lair
     
  7. sntay1

    sntay1 28DL Member
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    Hi The cottage street entrance his the entrance that I entered many years ago that would be 1965/1966 I have no idea where the entrance his at the factory.
    If you google earth and use one of there tools to measure distance you can try to guess where the entrance was to the factory .
    Put a line from there to cottage street vitualy any where you put it , it seems to go under the carriage works ?
     
  8. Dragon's Lair

    Dragon's Lair 28DL Full Member
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    Hi,
    Shittytigger are you confusing the 'deep level shelter' tunnel with the 'pig tunnel' which ran from the railway yard (Marsh & Baxter had their own siding)?
    The entrance to the 'pig tunnel' is just below North Street
    Here's the entrance which is still visible today, although well sealed up:
    [​IMG]

    I have never managed to trace the other end of this one. It appears on a 1950 Ordinance Survey map, but the landscape has been changed so much it makes it very difficult to trace. It came out somewhere near 'The Breeze' so was quite short. Its purpose was for herding the pigs from the railway yard through to holding pens ready for the inevitable. Although you can still see the portal i don't know if any of the tunnel has survived the modern development above it. I seem to recall that in the original thread there were some recollections from someone who worked there of the pigs sometimes rebelling and trying to run the wrong way back down the tunnel.

    The 'Deep level shelter' is another tunnel that ran from the boiler house - now the Moor Centre shopping centre - under the high street, under/past the carriage works (Between Cottage St and Mill St) under, or near the Wellington pub, under the new bypass and the decorating centre to where there was a pumping house. There was an entrance under the carpark of the decorating centre. From there it continued to a wharf on the canalside below Wheeler Tubes (I have a photo of this portal will post it ASAP). Although used by Marsh & Baxter it is likely that this tunnel pre dates M & B and was actually built for a brick works to get goods to and from the canal. I'll try to fill in more details and add some pics ASAP. Hope this clarifies things a bit.
     
  9. betamax toploader

    betamax toploader 28DL Full Member
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  10. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    I assume that's a typo :eek:
     
  11. shiftytigger

    shiftytigger 28DL Full Member
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    Never noticed. Wont take it personal though. Thanks for the laugh.
     
  12. bubblehead

    bubblehead you lost the game
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    [​IMG]

    That is the view in from where i believe is the wharf on the canalside
     
  13. Dragon's Lair

    Dragon's Lair 28DL Full Member
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    Re : Typo: Hi Shiftytigger, total apologies my friend, it was absolutely a typo. Glad you took it so well.

    Bubblehead, thanks for posting the shot of the inside of the Wharf entrance. I'll sort out some more pics ASAP.

    Dragon's Lair
     
  14. optare

    optare 28DL Member
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    Hi all,
    If anyone returns to this thread I came on here a few years ago have pic of original post tho not the text that went with it.
    The photo was of several men in the tunnel text reading something like 240 ft down & built by marsh & baxter for its staff & capable of housing hundreds of ppl.I never did find out why it was built,just assumed it was to protect staff in the war.at one stage believe the tunnel to be still intact up until
    the new junction in mill st was built,during which lorries were pumping 'stuff',sand..concrete ?down
    the manhole cover on the corner of the junction...
    This argues with the fact of a trace of a tunnel which left marshes directly under cottage street &
    toward the level...I also came across documentation of a tunnel down to bottom mill st to draw water?
     
    #14 optare, Jan 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  15. Dragon's Lair

    Dragon's Lair 28DL Full Member
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    Hi optare,
    The thread did re-appear and progressed some. I found the entrance down by the canal and I think it was Speed who took a photo of the inside which seems to confirm that the lower section fro Venture Way to the canal is indeed back filled. There is an entrance somewhere in the vicinity of the old Marsh and Baxter carriage works, which might still give access to the remaining section between Venture way and the Moor centre. This entrance has so far evaded detection. It is likely that the tunnel pre-dates Marsh and Baxter. It has been suggested that it was originally built for a brickworks which occupied the site before M and B. It was to allow raw materials to be brought up from the canal by horse and cart and bricks to go out via the same route. A shaft into a coal mine located almost at the back of the deluxe decorating centre was later used by M and B to provide water for their works. The water pipes running through the tunnel into their boiler house which was were the moor centre now stands. Also the tunnel carried steam pipes from the boiler house to the carriage works. It is most likely that it was not built by M and B as an air raid shelter, but it certainly could have had a secondary use as an air raid shelter during the Second World War. Still researching this but it's an ongoing project. Hope this helps.
    Cheers
    Dragons Lair
     
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