BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in June 2002We've left it here for reference.More information

31 July 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Liverpool - Local History

BBC Homepage
England
»Liverpool
Local History

Journeys
Get into History
Living History
Mersey Times
My Merseyside Memory
Contact info
 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

The Opening of the Tunnel


Tunnel postcard
Postcards were included in the Queensway Tunnel memorabilia

Video Watch the Opening of the Tunnel
  RealPlayer Required: More Info

On the 18th July 1934, over 200,000 people gathered at the Old Haymarket to watch King George V and Queen Mary, officially open the Queensway tunnel.

Tunnel opening 1934
The opening of the Queensway Tunnel - 18th July 1934

Amongst those chosen to welcome the Royal party were Lord Mayor Councillor John Strong, Sir Thomas White, Chair of the Joint Tunnel Committee, Lord Sefton and Chief Constable A.K. Wilson. Liverpool City Police Band provided the music.


At 11.45 the Royal party arrived.

"......I thank all those who have achieved this miracle. I praise the imagination that foresaw, the minds that planned, the skill that fashioned, the will that drove, and the strong arms that endeavoured in the bringing of this work to completion.

May those who use it ever keep grateful thoughts of the many who struggled for long months against mud and darkness.

His Majesty King George V
18th July 1934

As the national anthem played and the curtains began to rise, few were aware that the electrical mechanism had failed and instead two men were stationed either side, raising the curtains with hand cranks.

Carved stone feature
Carved stone feature, Old Haymarket entrance

The Royal car led the way through the tunnel to Birkenhead, where three miles of crowds awaited their arrival, clambering on roof tops and hanging on to chimneys to obtain a better viewpoint.

Lighting Column
60ft lighting column, designed by Herbert Rouse

On arrival, the Royal Party was introduced to Birkenhead's oldest inhabitant, 102 year old Sammual Gillingham. The party then went on to officially open Central Library on Borough Road, replacing the old library, demolished to make way for the tunnel entrance.

In the days that followed, the tunnel turned into something of a tourist attraction, with crowds watching the steady flow of traffic travelling between Liverpool and Birkenhead.

 


This Section

Tunnel Opening
Facts and Figures
Tunnel Tour

Current Journey
Underground Liverpool
Western Approaches
Queensway Tunnel
St James' Cemetery
Reservoirs
Liverpool Wells
How To Do History
Local Links
Trace your family tree
My Merseyside Memory
Contact Us
If you have anything to contribute to this page, or any others, then please get in touch:
liverpool@bbc.co.uk
Tel: 0151 794 0980
BBC Liverpool, 55 Paradise Street, Liverpool, L1 3BP




About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy