Report - - Victoria Arches/air raid shelters Manchester Jan 2012 | Diehardlove | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Victoria Arches/air raid shelters Manchester Jan 2012


1 of them cnuts off 28dsl
28DL Full Member
During World War II the stages and tunnels surrounding them were converted into air-raid shelters.[11][12][13] The conversion, which included additional brick blast walls, took three months at a cost of £10,150 and provided shelter for 1,619 people.[10] The cobbled surfaces shown in some of the pictures on the Manchester City Council website show the same network of tunnels before their conversion to air raid shelters. The land covered by the arches included a street, which led at the west end to a wooden bridge over the River Irk. The old road was covered over in an improvement scheme, which began in 1833.[10]

The steps and landing stages have remained closed to the public for many years. In 1935 less elaborate steps were in place,[14] some of which remained until 1971.[15] In photographs taken in 1972, the arches are barred, and some are covered with metal grilles.[16] As of 2009, none of the steps remain, and the original Victorian railings along the embankment have been replaced with a stone wall and new railings.

The stages also connected with the public toilets that used to be in front of the Cathedral. While now disused and closed to the public in 1967, Manchester Central Library maps demonstrate their proximity to the landing stages on the river, and both stage and toilets are accessible from one-another. Explorers have accessed the landing stages and documented their current condition, including taking photographs.[3] The male toilets, previously accessible from the front of the Cathedral, are apparently situated within arch 9. The female toilets were in the next arch along[citation needed], although they have reportedly been removed in their entirety. Both toilets apparently had private offices at the western ends (closest to the river), against the embankment wall. The female toilets were accessed from a fenced pathway from street level. There was an underground entrance to the stages from the premises of Thomas Cook & Son, which stood on the corner of Victoria Bridge.[10] Evidence of the building was reportedly found inside one of the stages, in the form of fire damaged timber purlins – albeit in very poor condition. It has been suggested that the landing stages might be reopened to the public as a tourist attraction.[1]

The arches are visible from the three surrounding bridges, and from the northwest shore of the river. They are all bricked up, some with small ventilation apertures left in place.

Big thanks to havoc and lawrance for the tour and the pure comedy access etc.