Another Tunnel, Another Adventure

I heard tell of a railway tunnel that few men claim to have set eyes upon since it was abandoned many years ago. It is called the Blackwich Tunnel. Many have sought it, and many of that many have never returned. And few of the few who have returned have found it. It is for this reason I am able to say that few men claim to have set eyes on that tunnel. We cannot know, of course, how many of the many who sought to find the tunnel and never returned did find the tunnel, but it is thought to be very few. I meant to find that tunnel and be one of the few who have found it and returned.

The Tunnel was said to lie 15 miles or so northwest of here, as the crow flies, but I would be cycling. I anticipated many trials, and quite a few challenges, so I expected to be out all morning and possibly into the afternoon, and therefore decided to take a packed lunch.

When the day of my expedition arrived, I hit the trail early and made good progress for ten miles or so, then stopped for a mug of coffee and a chocolate biscuit. Refreshed, I continued on until I reached the place where I knew the hidden path leading to the tunnel had to be. I had a map, given to me by the only man still alive to have been to the tunnel and return. He refused at first when I went to him asking for directions to the tunnel, but relented after I explained what I would do to him did he not give them to me. Even with the map, it was not easy to find the path in the thick undergrowth, and took much beating about the bush.

The path ran through dense woodland, and as I made my way along I found myself thinking, this path isnā€™t very good for cycling, but the old man with the map had warned me that I might have to get off and push my bike, so I was prepared. After a while, an uneasy feeling began to grow in me. All was complete silence; not a bird could be heard, nor the slightest rustle of some tiny creature in the undergrowth. No evidence of the presence of a single living creature anywhere, apart from one woman with a dog, coming the other way down the path. As the woman passed, I nodded and said, ā€œgood morningā€, but she walked by giving me no more than a sideways glance and a faint smile. People out walking always say good morning back to me, so I knew then that something was not right.

I was getting close to the tunnel; I could feel it; I could sense it in the very air. Another fifty yards and every nerve in my body was screaming at me to turn back, but on I went. The path then started to become less well defined, and got narrower and narrower as the woodland vegetation encroached on it until there was hardly a path at all, and then there was no path. Again, I was expecting this, and knew that I must now look for two giant trees standing 10 feet apart. I could see them, and between them the thick, seemingly impenetrable wall of shrubbery that I must breech if I was to reach my goal.

The struggle was epic, but after much thrashing about I eventually emerged at the far side of the thicket. What then lay before me made my blood run cold. There, right in front of me, were the remains of the many of the many who had sought the tunnel and never returned to become one of the few of the many. And beyond those wretched many, there it was, the tunnel, with the metal barrier that once blocked its entrance wrenched asunder from its fixings. What could wrench such a robust construction asunder? I asked myself, dreading what the answer might be. I was right to dread the answer, for a moment later I knew how dreadful it was. From the ghastly mouth of the tunnel, emerged a creature so terrible that I can scarcely bear to think of it, even now. I have never before seen the like of it, and would never have thought it possible for a badger of that size to exist.

I turned and fled, but driving through dense vegetation at speed, pushing a bike, and with a massive badger at your heels, is every bit as hard as it sounds. Somehow I made it all the way back to the main track, where I jumped on my bike and flew like the wind until every last drop of strength had drained from my frantic legs, and I at last slowed to a stop and fell sideways, bike and all, onto a grassy bank. I cannot say how long I sat there, staring blanky into empty space in despair and disbelief. It felt like an age, but was probably no more than a few minutes, and then I lowered my head into my hands and wept for all those poor badgered souls.

4 Likes

That always happens to me.
The tale is very Edgar Allan Poe if I may say so.

1 Like

Whereā€™s the video?

1 Like

I only have a photo

Imgur

Lucky escape. :icon_eek:

1 Like

Only a true Yorkshireman could survive such an ordeal Harbalā€¦
:no_bicycles:

2 Likes

Oh no not the dreaded giant badger! You did well to escape with your life Harbal !

2 Likes

Good enough! :wink:

1 Like

Tunnels appear in the most unlikely placesā€¦


These were discovered right opposite the side of the Beddington Public Houseā€¦Called The Plough Inn originally, now it is called just The Plough.
A Public House that was used by my Family.
The earliest written mention is in 1785. For many years the Plough was the only inn in Beddington. The architect for this building was J. Baker and it was built in 1897.


A pub in the centre of Beddington, rebuilt in 1897. The spacious interior is dominated by an oval island bar. There is a large rear patio garden in the former stable yard, and there is a tunnel from the cellar to Carew Manor.
Carew Manor has its own history, they use to have an outdoor Swimming Pool within the grounds that the local children would use.
Old photo of the Swimming Poolā€¦Authorised use at one time, then safety issues barred the children, not that they stopped going in for a dip when nobody was around to stop them.

The Tunnelā€¦
There are various stories about this Tunnel which may or may not be accurateā€¦But it was boarded up eventually, so many young children would have entered it to exploreā€¦including our ownā€¦

2 Likes

I think the Sculls went a bit too far Harbieā€¦ :zipper_mouth_face: :innocent:
p.s Look like Theatre Propsā€¦ :grinning:

2 Likes

Luv it!! I do like a tongue-in-cheek ending :+1::ok_hand: :applause:

2 Likes

You need to take that up with the badger, Dianne.
:badger:

2 Likes

I actually did find one video of the Beddington Tunnelsā€¦ done by the scouts i believe, but think it would disappoint peopleā€¦
ok youā€™ve all twisted my arm nowā€¦sorry about the personnel towels ā€¦I have no responsibility for the contents of this YouTube videoā€¦ :monkey_face:.

2 Likes

What a pair of odd characters, Dianne. Who on earth are Emperor Jonathan (nice haircut) and Countess Eritoshi? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

1 Like

I know, :face_with_raised_eyebrow: it was not exactly what I expected to see or hearā€¦lolā€¦thought it was going to be the scoutsā€¦dib dib dib
Would be good if I could find out more about itā€¦Loved that area for historical goings on and one of my favourites is where we moved to in 1968, 10th November to be exactā€¦
This would be earlier :thinking:ā€¦our house would yet to be built went in the river bank to on many levels, 4 actuallyā€¦to around past the old bridge then on the right side near the end that joins the Beddington Lane.ā€˜imagineā€™ā€™ as you cant see itā€¦
.(Asda arrived in the late 90ā€™s and more followedā€¦)
guy road
more recentlyā€¦
002 (3)
better view of the River Wandle in Guy Roadā€¦
notice the block of apartments they have managed to pass planning on the end of the roadā€¦tis an I sore in the real viewā€¦underground parking as parking is limited with the narrow roadā€¦
*


*

1 Like

Take your bike and packed lunch to the Blackwall Tunnel. Itā€™s full of surprises.

2 Likes

What a very scary tunnel vision @Harbal. A bit of skullduggery going on in that photo, methinks :wink:

2 Likes

I donā€™t know what you mean. :innocent:

2 Likes