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#353925 - 3rd Oct 2009 3:14pm bidston tunnels reopen bid launched ****
kimpri Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 29th Oct 2008
Posts: 3553
Loc: birkenhead
Community group launches ambitious bid to open Bidston tunnels to the public
Sep 30 2009 by Lorna Hughes, Birkenhead News

1 2 next
AN ambitious project has been launched to open a network of tunnels under Bidston Hill to the public.

Wirral was given funds to establish two deep air raid shelters in 1941, one in Tranmere and another under Bidston Hill’s Rhododendron Garden, its entrance facing Hoylake Road.

The Bidston shelter had 2,213 bunks and 793 seats, as well as a canteen, staff dormitory, toilets, medical aid post and a ventilation shaft which could double as an emergency escape hatch.

The tunnels, which were 7ft wide and 6ft 6in wide, were rarely used and the entrance was eventually sealed up.

Now consultants have been asked by a Bidston community group to look at how the shelters could be brought back into use as a tourist attraction.

Peter Crawford, of Bidston Preservation Trust, said: “Our plan would be for the rhododendron garden to become a memorial garden to all those killed during the war.

“Hopefully we would be able to open up little sections inside the tunnels and recreate it as it would have looked
“It would be easier to open the Bidston tunnels than the ones in Tranmere because there is no industry. We have got open space in front of them and you could get people in. I think it would be stunning and there’s huge potential to turn it into a tourist attraction.

“We’re very determined and we want to see them brought back into use.”

Mr Crawford said it was too early to say how much the project would cost.

In the 1960s the shelter was considered as a place that could be of use because of the Cold War, but there was a lot of dry rot in the timberwork, and it has lain unused ever since.

Bidston councillor Jim Crabtree, who remembers playing in the tunnels as a child, said the idea of opening the shelter as a tourist attraction was originally suggested in 1984.

He said: “The tunnels are absolutely huge and it was built in a big H-shape.

“I think it’s a brilliant idea.” thumbsup
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#353931 - 3rd Oct 2009 3:27pm Re: bidston tunnels reopen bid launched [Re: kimpri]
davew3 Offline
Forum Guide

Registered: 16th Jun 2009
Posts: 1024
Loc: Wirral
I hope they do open them,it's a long time since seeing the inside of them as kids,so they were "closed" at the time,but as kids we thought we were the only ones to have seen the inside of them,even explorers have to start somewhere. :-)

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#353932 - 3rd Oct 2009 3:30pm Re: bidston tunnels reopen bid launched [Re: davew3]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19087
Loc: Bob Land
Yerr! Good find kimpri1. Wonder if they got a petition on the go?
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#353934 - 3rd Oct 2009 3:30pm Re: bidston tunnels reopen bid launched [Re: kimpri]
Wheels Offline
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 4th Jan 2005
Posts: 8795
Loc: Tranmere
yeerrrrr! laugh

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#353936 - 3rd Oct 2009 3:35pm Re: bidston tunnels reopen bid launched [Re: Wheels]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7864
Loc: tranmere
They could open them and have some library's and shops in there or is that too far fetched.
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#353940 - 3rd Oct 2009 3:44pm Re: bidston tunnels reopen bid launched [Re: bert1]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19087
Loc: Bob Land
Peter crawford 0151 652 3141
Lets volunteer to get petitions going in the 4 corners of wirral!
Theres a website but too small for me to see, on my phone.
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#353943 - 3rd Oct 2009 3:53pm Re: bidston tunnels reopen bid launched [Re: bert1]
kimpri Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 29th Oct 2008
Posts: 3553
Loc: birkenhead
shop/cafe/information desk? I'm sure that everyone would benefit from it..
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#353953 - 3rd Oct 2009 4:02pm Re: bidston tunnels reopen bid launched [Re: kimpri]
LukeORourke Offline
Addict

Registered: 13th Dec 2007
Posts: 267
Loc: Canberra Australia
i would sign a petition, but you would have to come a long way to see me laugh
or e-mail it to me and i will sign and i'll fax it back(thats a maybe)

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#353955 - 3rd Oct 2009 4:05pm Re: bidston tunnels reopen bid launched [Re: LukeORourke]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5349
Loc: Birkenhead
With a bit of imagination it could be some sort of adventure playground with trade outlets in it as well. Kids are in to dungeons and hobbits and other troggy creatures (not you Robbo) so it could work.
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#353964 - 3rd Oct 2009 4:54pm Re: bidston tunnels reopen bid launched [Re: BandyCoot]
LukeORourke Offline
Addict

Registered: 13th Dec 2007
Posts: 267
Loc: Canberra Australia
or an underground shopping centre

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#353973 - 3rd Oct 2009 6:01pm Re: bidston tunnels reopen bid launched [Re: LukeORourke]
kimpri Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 29th Oct 2008
Posts: 3553
Loc: birkenhead
there not that big inside dude
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#353983 - 3rd Oct 2009 6:51pm Re: bidston tunnels reopen bid launched [Re: kimpri]
TRANCENTRAL Offline

Green Meanie
Wiki Master

Registered: 10th Apr 2008
Posts: 13457
Loc: Underground
yerrrrr joe nice post mate tunnneeeellls smile
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#353992 - 3rd Oct 2009 7:21pm Re: bidston tunnels reopen bid launched [Re: TRANCENTRAL]
Shadow_Omega Offline

Wise One

Registered: 29th Apr 2009
Posts: 871
Loc: Leasowe
i hope this pulls through and everyone can gain access to it instead if having to either squeeze through metal barriers or dig through thick soil just for a nose.

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#354001 - 3rd Oct 2009 7:50pm Re: bidston tunnels reopen bid launched [Re: Shadow_Omega]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


Mightn't be the most popular bunny in the hutch for saying this but....... IMHO Tranmere is by far and away the better location. Bidston is much smaller than Tranmere. It's suffered much more from the brainless numpties with their graffiti etc. It has standing water (damaged drains). The reinstatement of the exit shaft (the H&S mob would insist on that) wouldn't go down a bomb on Biddy Hill now.

Holborn Hill Quarry would make an ideal entrance. It's a right sight at the moment with dead cars, junk etc. A visitor centre incorporating the entrance (think Stockport shelters) would be more acceptable there than building on the "green" site off Hoylake Road.

The emergency way out would be through the re-opened shaft in Frodsham St. (Re-build the shaft head "as was" only yob proof)
Tranmere has oodles more space and it's (mostly) in pristine condition. No standing water to speak of either.

Tranmere could be Birkenhead's "Stockport" ie. a great tourist attraction !!

Sorry Mr Crawford - you're backing the wrong hole in the ground !

I'll stand back and await the flaming !!!

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#354011 - 3rd Oct 2009 8:02pm Re: bidston tunnels reopen bid launched [Re: ]
davew3 Offline
Forum Guide

Registered: 16th Jun 2009
Posts: 1024
Loc: Wirral
Not bothered which ,both are now in the History book of Birkenhead.I think that's more important,but I would like to see one of them open,imagine History for the kids in schools (do they still do History in schools or has that been downgraded),going to see where their grandad and grandma spent time underground because of the blitz.

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