The story of the Queensway and Kingsway road tunnels, together known as the Mersey Road Tunnels, is a story of progress and growth as the area around them developed and changed. No tunnel of comparable diameter had been built before, and nothing matched its length or its complexity. Once completed, despite fierce opposition from the powerful and persuasive rail industry, the incredible feat of engineering was dubbed 'the eighth wonder of the world' in some corners.
Work started on the tunnels when, on December 16 1925, Princess Mary set the pneumatic drills in motion to enable the first shaft to be dug on the surviving portion of the Old Georges Dock. Similar excavations were happening on the Birkenhead side at Morpeth Dock. Excavation was made using a combination of drilling and explosives and up to 1,700 men worked on the tunnel simultaneously. It would go on to play a crucial role in the Second World War, acting as a key supply route in the Battle of the Atlantic and providing shelter to the local community.
With a range of rare and historic photographs, Peter Jackson-Lee tells the fascinating story of these iconic and important tunnels that remain one of the finest achievements in engineering to come out of Liverpool and Merseyside.
14 Apr 2017