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James

50 years of the Clyde Tunnel

50 years of the Clyde Tunnel ( Evening Times)



It was one of Glasgow's most revolutionary structures and today celebrates its 50th anniversary.


The Clyde Tunnel, which connects Whiteinch and Govan underneath the River Clyde, was built
over a seven-year period from 1957 to 1964 at a cost of around 10million, the equivalent of
200m now. Half a century later the Princess Royal is visiting the tunnel to talk to some of the
people involved in its construction and ongoing maintenance.

Eamon Doherty, who is 72, remembers working on it at the age of 19. He said: "It was my first job.
I had just moved over from Donegal, Ireland, and started working there. It was really hard work. I
was only a labourer when I started, working at the face shovelling away the muck on to a
conveyor belt. Then I was transferred to the new segments to work on them. I got to like
the work very well though after a while.

Mr Doherty would travel to work on the Subway from his home in the South Side, and spent
eight hours a day shovelling between three and four tonnes of mud and gravel from the walls
of the tunnel alongside 20 other men. He said: "I was a non-drinker and non-smoker at that
time and I remember everyone coming out of work and lighting up. When we came out of the
lock and it started to decompress, nearly everyone, about 90%, lit up a cigarette straight away.
You went down on a big hoist, like a lift, and you walked in because there was no transport in
the tunnel. I stayed there until I was 21, and then left to work with George Wimpey homes,
building multi-storey houses. The first time I went through it when it was finished, I felt a great
sense of achievement to know I had helped to build it."

Ian Petrie worked at building firm Harland & Wolff during the time of the tunnel's construction,
and helped to join enormous cast iron segments which would form the skeleton of the underground
passage. Ian said: "It was a really nasty job, I'll never forget it. It was very dirty you got
covered in a kind of Tarmac stuff that was used on the segments and the smell was terrible.
I started in there as an office boy in 1962, and left when I got married in 1967. My family laugh
at me as every time we go through the tunnel I tell them that I made the segments that line it.
Even when I have the occasion to go through with friends I tell them. I'm not surprised it has
lasted 50 years. When things were built on the Clyde they were built to last."

The Queen attended the grand opening of the tunnel on July 3 1963, when she was greeted
by pipers and thousands of people who turned out to watch. Ellen Collum, 79, was one of the
lucky residents who saw the Queen as she opened the curtain, unveiling the tunnel's entrance.
She said: "My biggest memory was seeing the Queen, it was lovely and it has left me with a
feeling that I know her when I see her. It was a really big event at that time, there were lots
of people there. "

Ellen's husband Hugh, who sadly passed away in 2010, worked on the tunnel for the duration of
its construction, and she remembers waiting for him to come home at night after a long day's
work. She said: "He was always exhausted. I'm sure it was harder work back then without a lot
of machines. My two brothers worked in the tunnel as well."

Ellen said she felt "sad but also proud" when she goes through the Clyde tunnel now, remembering
how much hard work her husband and brothers put in to build it. She said: "I'm proud, especially
as it's been 50 years since it opened. I can't believe it's been that long."



James H
cybers

That leak in the bottom left photo is still there  

Strange to think its 50 years old never really gave it a thought.... but jeebus !
Fireman

We used to do joint emergency services exercises in the tunnel late at night and I ended up in the ventilation tunnel that isn't normally accessed by the general public - the way its interior was constructed it looked like the inside of the alien spaceship in the first 'Alien' film, quite amazing.
Stuball

If I remember correctly, the pedestrian tunnels run under the roads and are the bottom part of the circles of the tunnel
Fireman

Stuball wrote:
If I remember correctly, the pedestrian tunnels run under the roads and are the bottom part of the circles of the tunnel


Correct Stuball.

I've still got a cross-sectional drawing of the tunnel somewhere, if I find it in time I'll post.
James




James H
Hawick_1987

Impressive design it has to be said. I had no idea the path was under the road!
peter kemp

The article posted mentions a chap from Harland and Wolff making the cast iron segments. At the time I was an apprentice Patternmaker in the Harland and Wolff foundry in Helen street. They made the wooden patterns for the segments and I'm surprised that there was so many made for casting. As a lowly apprentice I got the messy job of painting them .
James

peter kemp wrote:
The article posted mentions a chap from Harland and Wolff making the cast iron segments. At the time I was an apprentice Patternmaker in the Harland and Wolff foundry in Helen street. They made the wooden patterns for the segments and I'm surprised that there was so many made for casting. As a lowly apprentice I got the messy job of painting them.

Every little helps.




James H
Hawick_1987

 
Stuball

Hawick_1987 wrote:
Impressive design it has to be said. I had no idea the path was under the road!


Never been through the tunnels? When you get to the bottom, you can hear the traffic overhead hitting the stanks
Hawick_1987

I've been through, but I was too busy stepping over large puddles and lime green pools of slime.
cybers

Hawick_1987 wrote:
Too busy stepping over large puddles and lime green pools of Urine.


Me too  
horza

I think this may be the most appropriate thread for these photos, if not I'll happily delete and repost them elsewhere.

A few weeks back the Clyde Tunnel closed the northbound tunnel as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations. The public were allowed to go for a wander into the tunnel itself but were only allowed so far. They brought down a few old cars to make it a bit more interesting but, if you're like myself, I was down just to have a walk through somewhere I'm not likely to get another chance to go for a while (or at least the next open day!).

This shot was taken at the lowest point looking southbound:
Stay in Lane - Clyde Tunnel

I stupidly forgot my tripod and had to rely on resting the camera on a few things to get the shots:
Clyde Tunnel

This was my only handheld shot at ISO400. Decided to be a wee bit more arty with it:
The Tunnel {Explored}

I have a few more photos from the afternoon but they all have a few old cars which have been doing the rounds for a while.
caledonia84

top stuff  

saw these on flickr and thought "how the f*&K did he get these!?"

now I know!
Hawick_1987

Great set, good timing!
Doog Doog

Cracking stuff!
cybers

horza wrote:
I think this may be the most appropriate thread for these photos, if not I'll happily delete and repost them elsewhere.

A few weeks back the Clyde Tunnel closed the northbound tunnel as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations. The public were allowed to go for a wander into the tunnel itself but were only allowed so far. They brought down a few old cars to make it a bit more interesting but, if you're like myself, I was down just to have a walk through somewhere I'm not likely to get another chance to go for a while (or at least the next open day!).

This shot was taken at the lowest point looking southbound:
Stay in Lane - Clyde Tunnel

I stupidly forgot my tripod and had to rely on resting the camera on a few things to get the shots:
Clyde Tunnel

This was my only handheld shot at ISO400. Decided to be a wee bit more arty with it:
The Tunnel {Explored}

I have a few more photos from the afternoon but they all have a few old cars which have been doing the rounds for a while.


Sweet set of images think i commented on them over at flickr ... pity you never got the drone in there it could have been awesome.
mani

used to travel through it on my bicycle better than a rollercoaster until it was arse out of the saddle to get back up to the other side  
Alex Glass

Brilliant photos and ones you dont get to see often enough

Well done for being in the right place at the right time.

   
Marti

^^^Excellent...
fatweegee

I grew up next to the original south side exit - onto Govan Road at Cressy Street (the further exit upto Langlands Road and the flyover to M8 were later additions, and used to go through to Whiteinch and Partick on our bikes all the time, great fun.
Fat Cat

My dad worked on the building of the Clyde Tunnel.   He eventually ended up with white finger and TB.

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