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Thread: Gildersome tunnel bash

  1. #1
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    Default Gildersome tunnel bash


    I'll start my first post off with our Gildersome tunnel bash we did the other week...Gildersome is a bit of a monster at 1 mile 571 yds long. The Western portal has disappeared under landfill leaving this the only way in. We were pleased we made it to the far end despite the tunnel been badly flooded with thick orange mud to a depth of 18'' or more in places. I've never seen any pictures inside this tunnel as it seems to have been out of bounds since the early 90's due to the flooding & treacherous bog that guards this forbidding entrance, so what lay in store for us we didn't know.

    When i stood on the bank and took this shot of the portal in June this year i never thought for a minute i'd crack this beast such was the depth of putrid water guarding the gated entrance.

    That was untill a few weeks ago when we made another evening visit... i was suprised to see the water had changed colour from the blue/grey skank to this horrible brown. The level had dropped a good foot revealing thick mud. My companion for the day feeling fleet footed decided it was a good idea to have a go to try make it to the other side, I couldn't believe it when he did.. caked in mud & very wet but none the less we had our first shots of the inside of the tunnel. It revealed the tunnel was under a good foot of wall to wall water but there did look to be a drier spot some 150 yds in.. we looked hard at the pictures and new it was madness but we decided to get kitted up & have a good crack at it the following Saturday. Here we see three of the expedition team struggling across the rancid bog

    Once inside we were able to shine the big lamp down into the impending gloom to see what lay ahead. It was wall to wall water & deep it was too. The dry land we thought we could see on the pic was nothing but thick tango mud. Oh bugger! We'd got this far so we decided to have a go at the first 100yds to see what the situation was further in.. Ever wary of the hidden dangers of drains & rubble under foot we took it in turns to lead the way prodding the ground with the tripod every inch of the way in front of us like a blind man with his white stick.

    When we reached 200 yards in we got to the point were the mud started, The flowing water had cut a channel through it giving us a narrow 18'' path to follow. There was a bad leak in the tunnel wall at this point with a fair amount of water pouring in. We had hoped this was the cause for all the flooding but it wasn't to be. At this point we realised the tunnel had a gradient with all the water flowing the way we had come so the way forward couldn't get any deeper.

    The narrow path soon give way to wall to wall water again, It stayed like this for half the tunnel past the second air shaft.

    We missed this concealed refuge on the way up as we were too concerned checking the way forward was safe. It was probably used as a storage/snap hut for the plate laying gangs. We didn't take any pictures untill the way back and even then it was a pain in the @

    The pile of rubble from the demolished air shafts gave us big problems with the water backing up to some considerable depth. Once past the second shaft things got a little easier as the channel had reformed and the water wasn't as deep. You can see the 83 'chains' marker on the wall indicating we were 1,826 yds into the tunnel, You can just make out the tiny glow of daylight at the entrance.

    Gildersome was difficult to photograph with all the orange mud burning bright red on long exposure shots so we tried to neutralize the colour with a L.E.D lamp as well.

    We'd made it past shaft 2 now.. we'd been going for a while when suddenly we could see something very faint in the distance. We couldn't make out what it was so we turned off the torches to let our eyes adjust to what looked like little flickers of starlight rays, Then the penny dropped we were approaching the open no 3 shaft.

    Things were really looking good as we thought for the first time we could make it to the retaining wall over a mile in the tunnel. It wasn't long before we caught site of the welcoming retaining wall at the far end. The first 600yds of tunnel had been infilled when the M621 motorway was built over head.

    It's probably 20 years since anyone last stood here, there were very few signs of graffiti with the latest we found dating way back to 1982. There is 30,000 tons of landfill behind the retaining wall with the West portal buried and gone for good. We'd spent a good 4 hours down there in total with every shot you took been hard work as you just couldn't put anything down for all the water.. What a pain it was!

    There's a more detailed report, pictures and archive shots on our blog here if anyone wants to look further. Hope you enjoyed the trip :p



    http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fu...ogID=326762127
    Last edited by phill.d; 15th Nov 07 at 00:29.
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Gildersome tunnel bash


    Excellent stuff Phill.d. :D
    Not sure I'd be up for going in there meself, but well enjoyed seeing the pics!

    Cheers :)
    "...If we lose our spiritual bond with the land they'll be nothing left of us as a nation..." Phil Rickman.

    I can't read and I can't write, but that don't really matter,
    I come from the west country and I can drive a tractor.


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  4. #3
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    Wink Re: Gildersome tunnel bash


    Thanks Foxylady.. i admit i was apprehensive about this one myself ... saying that it's the adrenaline we love to get pumping aint it? were going to have another go at it now we know what it's like :icon_evil
    Last edited by phill.d; 15th Nov 07 at 00:14.
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  5. #4
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    Thumbs up Re: Gildersome tunnel bash


    Super tour super pic's one of the best tunnel tours I have seen :)
    Aversos Compono Animos

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Gildersome tunnel bash


    Thanks mate.. Glad you liked it.. there's a bit more of it on the blog.. Were definitely having another go with this one... It was by far the hardest but most satisfying one with done so far
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  7. #6
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    Default Re: Gildersome tunnel bash


    That is wicked, nice one guys :)

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Gildersome tunnel bash


    very cool tunnel, and some amazing work guys, would love to have a look at that in the future.

    S
    If There Is A Ladder Climb It,
    If Its A Tunnel Explore It,
    If Its Derelict,
    Its Urbex.

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  9. #8
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    Default Re: Gildersome tunnel bash


    Ha, that's lovely and messy and impressively colourful! Bring on the adventure. :) Nothing better than the sense of anticipation that comes from not having the slightest clue what lays in store for you.

    JD

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Gildersome tunnel bash


    Thanks guys! It's do-able Sheep but a tough one! You can't beat the good old ticker banging away double time!
    Last edited by phill.d; 15th Nov 07 at 18:02.
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  11. #10
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    Thumbs up Re: Gildersome tunnel bash


    Superb report & pics phill.d :)

    Really enjoyed looking through this one. It just goes to show that a LOT of effort goes a long way!!! ;) Me fave pic has got to be the one with the shaft of light -really special
    Could we see some pics of inside that "storage / snap hut"? Looks interesting :)

    Lb
    Lb :jimlad:

    Think we're gonna need a bigger boat

    www.severallshospital.co.uk
    www.runwellhospital.co.uk

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