Subterranean Travels - Stories Beneath The feet

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by Tremaine, May 12, 2009.

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  1. Below pavement level: wartime bunkers, installations, burial crypts, dug-up plague pits, sewers, excavated Roman walls, remnants of Henry VIII's tennis courts, poncy wine cellars, bunkers, London, and forgotten corners of the Tube. Ghost stations unused since the 1930's, "fluffers " that used to clean the Underground of all its hair, discarded wallets, and nail clippings...

    Having read a couple of books on underground Britain, I won't be joining the SubBrits. But those dark underground passage-ways, and forgotten histories, are fascinating. Just the London Tube for instance....

    One of those threads that can flourish, or crash, or have its secrets heavily edited. :wink: Worth a punt?
  2. LancePrivateJones

    LancePrivateJones LE Book Reviewer

    I once read a book called 'Beneath the city streets' by a chap called Peter Laurie.
    I followed it up with a book called 'Underground London : Travels beneath the city streets' by Stephen Smith.

    Absolutely fascinating stuff and a must for all Troglodytes like me.
  3. Brighton Pavilion

    "So into the bowels of the building we descend, with its maintenance workshops and after limbering through scaffolding we find ourselves in the famous tunnel – but where does it go?

    “This is the tunnel that everybody knows about,” explains Andrew. “It led from the new north end of the Pavilion to the stables and the riding house, which is currently the museum.”

    “It was only used at the very end of his life, when he was keen not to appear in public, so this was a great way of getting from the Pavilion to the riding school without being seen by members of the public. But of course everybody thinks it went in another direction.”

    Once upon a time this door would have allowed access to the Royal stables, it now leads to the Brighton Museum and Gallery. Richard Moss © 24 Hour Museum."
  4. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    It is quite incredible the number of cities that have secret underground histories, London & Edinburgh are probably the most obvious to us here in the UK, but there exists a massive underground network in Paris, some areas are open to the public, most are not. There exist a sub-culture (pun not intended) amongst the Parisian youth who actively seek out and explore these vast catacombs. I have seen many photographs and films of the escapades of these subterranean flanneurs as they run the gauntlet with the Police.

    Prague, Rome (recently featured on TV) and Istanbul are three other cities with a vast underground network, little known and little explored.
  5. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    You might get a better response for this the Mil History forum, and yes there is quite a lot of interesting Mil and non Mil underground stuff out there!
  6. LancePrivateJones

    LancePrivateJones LE Book Reviewer

    I was told that Warren lane in Woolwich was so called because the tunnels that used to run under the Royal Arsenal converged there.
    An old bloke in Aldershot told me that the area near the Military Cemetery in Aldershot was festooned with old tunnels that dated back to the 19th century.

    I never found out if there was any truth in either of these rumours.
  7. Looks like a will we keep it here or have it moved?
  8. LancePrivateJones

    LancePrivateJones LE Book Reviewer

    Might be safer in the Mil History Forum.

    Just my opinion.
  9. i know turin has vaults underneath it, i also believe worcester and bristol have secrets underneath (both affiliated with king john)
  10. "There are about 40 abandoned or relocated stations on the Underground network along its entire 255 miles (408Km) of trackway - some subsurface and some above ground. Some have vanished without trace whereas others are almost intact, grimey time capsules of the era when they were closed." "Blanks", or "voids", walled off and unused.

  11. If you know where the stations are, you can actually see the stations if you look carefully.
  12. LancePrivateJones

    LancePrivateJones LE Book Reviewer

    There is one disused tube station that is used for Police, fire brigade and Ambulance service exercises (amongst others) and is regularly used for TV and film work.
    For instance, the final bit of 'V for Vendetta' was filmed there.

    Can't remember the bloody name of it though.