RamsgateHistory.com
August 20, 2014, 04:33:17 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register Chat  
Pages: 1
  Print  
Author Topic: Underground Ramsgate  (Read 4083 times)
Phil
Administrator
***
Offline

Posts: 593


« on: January 11, 2011, 09:48:59 PM »

We're trying to collect and record details of shelters, tunnels, caves and other underground features around Ramsgate. Can you help with this? Do you know the location of the St Lawrence Smugglers Caves, the Witches Kitchen at Pegwell Bay? Do you know the location of the Dumpton Park Drive entrance to the old Railway Tunnel?

To view what we have so far in Google Earth click HERE
Logged
Monkton Malc
Global Moderator
***
Offline

Posts: 71


« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2011, 10:07:57 PM »

The old tunnel railway from Hereson Road to the seafront was this one..



Looking down onto the platform..



The site in more recent times..



I do remember going on this as a kid. We got the train from Minster to Dumpton Park then walked down the road and got the one to the beach. I don't remember the return journey though..

MM
Logged
kennard
Active Member
**
Offline

Posts: 22


« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2011, 03:36:37 PM »

    Dumpton Park Drive has changed a lot since since the days that I felt vibration from little trains passing under my house, but I recollect the wartime entrance to the tunnel as being on the corner with Winterstoke Way, opposite the alleyway to the Synagogue.
Logged
Phil
Administrator
***
Offline

Posts: 593


« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2011, 04:57:57 PM »

Thanks for that kennard. I've been up the steps from below when exploring the tunnels, but didn't know where the entrance was as I lived the other side of town. I was probably on one of those rumbling trains, eating candyfloss facing the wind in the tunnel. What a mess!!
Logged
GMac
Active Member
**
Offline

Posts: 4


« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 11:17:50 AM »

Interesting to read an article in the local press this week regarding the possible re-opening of the Ramsgate tunnel network. I also believe that there has been a number of meeting with David Green in the past few weeks to discuss the same. Not sure the 60k lottery grant would go that far but i'm fully supportive of this project and perhaps more local backing could push this forward in some way.

Full article at: http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/news/War-tunnels-reopen-public/article-3122601-detail/article.html
Logged
ramsgate60
Global Moderator
***
Offline

Posts: 43


« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 05:44:22 PM »

This always comes up from time to time, i doubt it will happen, as  gonna take cash, and there's not alot about,..and what will they do with them, put a museam down there, hmmmm,...
Logged
wevsky
Sr. Member
***
Offline

Posts: 53


« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2011, 06:35:31 PM »

We're trying to collect and record details of shelters, tunnels, caves and other underground features around Ramsgate. Can you help with this? Do you know the location of the St Lawrence Smugglers Caves, the Witches Kitchen at Pegwell Bay? Do you know the location of the Dumpton Park Drive entrance to the old Railway Tunnel?

To view what we have so far in Google Earth click HERE
the withces kitchen isnt that hard to find a google search should give plenty of info..the st lawrence caves alleged to run into ellington park ive only seen one picture of i spoke to a gent in the pub along from the 3 shops alleged to have cavernous cellars and he said a hole had appeared several years back in the chinese restaurant garden..the rumours of a manhole in the street is false and thats about it i think..i have visited the three sections left of the ramsgate tunnels ..ellington road/park being lost to the sewer pipes we believe
Logged
Phil
Administrator
***
Offline

Posts: 593


« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2011, 09:33:18 PM »

Interesting to read an article in the local press this week regarding the possible re-opening of the Ramsgate tunnel network.

I had no idea this was happening when I started recording details of underground Ramsgate, but we're now working with David Green to help push this proposal forward. It's in the early stages and currently there's preparation work going on behind the scenes to assess all aspects of such an undertaking. I'll endeavour to keep everyone up to date but please don't expect anything dramatic for a while.

In connection with this I'll soon be posting about recording "spoken history" relating to the tunnels. If you know of anyone with personal experience of wartime use, or even post war with the Scenic Railway, please start winding them up for an interview, and let us know their details.
Logged
Doverpast
Sr. Member
***
Offline

Posts: 34


« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2011, 11:34:37 AM »

As above it happens all the time and nothing every happens with the idea - I think the health and safety side of things will always stop it due to the lack of emergency exists Sad

Re dumpton park drive it is in the pavement opposite the synagogue:



* dumpton_stairs_4.jpg (35.96 KB, 272x387 - viewed 233 times.)

* dumpton_stairs_2.jpg (33.51 KB, 424x287 - viewed 238 times.)
Logged
Phil
Administrator
***
Offline

Posts: 593


« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2011, 04:35:03 PM »

Thanks for the pictures Doverpast, that will help locate the exact spot.

I agree that the tunnels crop up regularly, and I have seen a previous report that dismissed them as a tourist attraction. Traditionally the Council has considered the tunnels as a liabilty on safety grounds, and quite rightly they have a duty to minimise risks. This risk factor is only set to increase as time takes its toll. Hopefully the group now assessing the tunnels will be able to turn them into an asset for the town, which can only be a win win situation.

I'm right behind the current plan. The tunnels exist, the history exists, the interest exists, so lets work through the practicalities. To do nothing could be an expensive option as the tunnels continue to deteriorate and become an even greater liability. The only certainty at the moment is "nothing ventured, nothing gained".

Click to read an article from the Daily Express in September 1940 which summarises the significance of the tunnels to Ramsgate
Logged
Friend of Ellington Park
Active Member
**
Offline

Posts: 1


« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2011, 10:05:04 PM »

I met a chap in Ellington Park who said that one entrance to the tunnels in the Park was very near to where they have just repaired the wall (car went through it) on the Grange Road side.

He also said that there was an entrance in Sharps's Dairy (the one opposite the Ellington Road/Grange Road entrance to the Park), and he had been asked to help fill it in a long time ago.

Orbit Housing have just filled in a part of the tunnels that went under the old Ellington Girls School.   Am investigating the current legal position for my own satisfaction (whether they got permission from TDC, why it was granted, who the tunnels legally belong to).

There is an elderly lady who lives in Chapel Road and she used the tunnels in the Park during the air-raids.   She said that, when the sirens went off, everyone in Chapel Road/Claremont Gardens, would run as fast as they could down the little alley between Claremont Gardens and Grange Road and into the Park and down the tunnels. 
Logged
kennard
Active Member
**
Offline

Posts: 22


« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2011, 03:58:42 PM »

Nice to read the article about Mayor Kempe, Phil.   Where do you find these things?   
I was in the small crowd at the ceremony when he and the Duke of Kent officially opened the entrance at the harbourside.   A bit of a showman but a good man the Mayor.  We owed him.   He later found the time to start up a bit of a social club where us youths could congregate
Logged
Phil
Administrator
***
Offline

Posts: 593


« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2011, 04:17:23 PM »

Nice to read the article about Mayor Kempe, Phil.   Where do you find these things?   

My uncle was A.B.C.'s son Lionel Kempe, and the press cutting came from the family papers. My mother was probably standing next to you at the ceremony! She was in the Fire Service and went with the official party from Queen Street to the Harbour entrance, via the tunnels. I was only 4 when A.B.C. passed away so I don't remember him, but by all accounts he did much for the town.
Logged
Phil
Administrator
***
Offline

Posts: 593


« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2011, 08:43:25 PM »

This article is reproduced from the BBC’s WW2 People’s War Archive under their fair dealing terms

When war was declared I lived at Ramsgate in a Regency terraced house adjacent to the Mayoral offices, and overlooking the harbour.

A few days after war was declared we received a letter addressed to The Occupant from a lady whose Grandfather had lived in the house during the first World War. She informed us that if we went into the second cellar in the basement, we would find a (blocked in) opening to a tunnel under the house. We duly looked in what we thought was the second cellar but there was no sign of any hole in the floor. Then we noticed that there was an unexplained distance between the first and second cellars. Down came the wall and lo and behold, there was the opening.

Our neighbour, the Borough Engineer, in return for allowing his staff to use the tunnel, had it opened up for us. This amazing tunnel carved out of the chalk about ten feet down from the basement floor, and therefore about 20 feet below road level, ran the entire length of the house, at standing-up height, and was perfectly dry.
There was a chamber about eight feet square with seats carved in the rock. Candles and matches and one or two other utilities were found in tins, dry and serviceable.
With an entrance ladder at both front and rear we scurried down every time the air raid siren sounded, but it was a long way down, and we could not hear the all clear, so the discipline fell into disuse after a short time.

A year or so later a bomb landed on the Borough Engineers property next door, demolishing it. The cellar was unoccupied at the time. Nobody was killed. I suppose it is there to this day.

© John Smith, WW2 People's War

WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The archive can be found at bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar
Logged
Pages: 1
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!