We as kids in the 70s could do things that kids now would never be able to do. I remember a number of times a few of us 'borrowed' some canoes from New Ferry Baths in the evenings after they'd closed and carry them down to the 'big hill' at the bottom of Bolton Rd. We didn't know at the time that this hill was part of PLUTO, Pipeline Under The Ocean and was used to store aviation fuel in the build up to the D day landings. We did however know it was partially flooded because you could see for level after level down the shafts under the water. Nothing ever seemed to be locked in those days, so it wasn't difficult to get in. I remember a long dark corridor with metal grating on the floor and below that just water. At the end of the corridor was a 'T' junction where you could go either left or right. We turned left, going north. The water was so clean that when you shone your torch down through it, you could see three or four more rusty levels covered in rusticals, very eerie. If you could imagine what a prison looks like, where you have balconies, that was what it was like. Anyway we put our borrowed canoes in the water and started paddling the length of the hill. At the far end (Bromborough end) there was a massive work shop with a very old rusty tractor, obviously not touched in 30 odd years. There where Lathes, work benches,lockers and chairs. The lockers still had overalls in! Back to the canoes. We paddled from one end of the main corridor to the other and decided to get out and walk on the grating and have a look in some of the rooms off the corridor. Inside one of them tables and chairs had been set up. and on the wall facing as you went in was a big rusty wheel with a spout below it. So us being kids decided to turn it not realising Aviation fuel was going to pour out of the spout! I still don't know why it was set up to do that in a room where people sat. At both ends of the hill were metal steps going down level after level under the water, i still think of what it was like at the very bottom. After an hour or so exploring we left the same way as we'd entered, the east entrance, and it was pitch black when we arrived outside. All entrances have now been caved in but you can still see where they are.
I remember we cleaned the canoes in the 'Glassy' a pond that used to be or is still there. We then headed back to the bath's like commando's, hoisted the canoes over the isolation Hospital wall and back to where they came from, in the roof space of the changing rooms, no one knowing theyd ever been taken. That was just one of many adventure we got up to years ago. My mates still remember these adventures too! Beats computer games!