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I have become very interested lately in the tunnels under Bedlington.  They appear to be under what was the Old Hall where the council offices are now. Under St Cuthberts church. Under where the Post Office was. From Netherton Hall to Hartford Hall. Also down to the river.  Under what was The Mechanics behind the Sun Inn. Apparently one was found recently when they pulled Tescos down. This is all word of mouth. An elderly cousin said she was warned to keep away from the one under The Old Hall. On one of the Bedlington FB pages someone said their grandfather had been in them when he worked for the council. All very interesting. My thoughts are possibly for religious reasons. 

My mothers Uncle was a mason and he owned 6 flats and a house in Bedlington. I often wonder how as he was a grocer. 

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Pauline, I'm not so sure these tunnels are anything other than urban myth, unfortunately; Adam Hogg posted a picture of the entrance to one of the alleged tunnels under Tesco recently, I believe on the Bedlington Matters Facebook page, but also stated it carried service cables or similar; if so, its destination must be known. Interesting story, none the less!

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Spoke to my Dad who's 87 who remembers a few tunnels or similar structures in different parts of Bedlington. 

The Church Lane tunnel could possibly be the culvert where Jocker Amos was found following the Sun Inn murders. There are some images of the culvert elsewhere on this site.

There was a surface drift which was part of the Doctor Pit which ran under where Tescos is situated and started nearer to the gas works/police station.

There was also a 'cundy' which is a type of underpass which ran from the colliery rows to the gas house near the new police station bypassing the Doctor Pit yards. 

There are also 2 tunnels which emerge at the bottom of the Furnace Bank right on the river bank next to where the bandstand used to be. I think one of them is clearly visible although the entrance is silted up. This one may be the one with 'abide ye' or similar carved on the stone arch. If you're looking for it, it's about 50 metres west of the  Furnace Bridge on the north side. Dad reckons these structures were actually water inlets which filled up at high tide. Several bore holes were sunk into them along their length to obtain water for the ironworks.

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Thank you for that information Reedy. Been absent from the forum due to a bereavement in the family.  It's all really interesting. I remember the cundy from when I was young. 

Edited by Pauline

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Excellent stuff Reedy!

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A bit late of coming back to this topic aboot St Cuthberts Church!

A was at a Christening on Sunday gone,[ 4th June 2017],and at the beginning of the service,the female with the Dog Collar on,[NOT the vicar...cos she referred to the Vicar occasionally],was very pleasant,and began by welcoming us all to this very fine OLD Church,WHICH INCIDENTALLY!...... was 1,96..? yrs old on that day!![She told us all..]

That makes it older than what any of us have been led to believe ,by a few hundred years!

She did say.."or thereabouts....cos we can't place an exact date on it..." after saying it was on Sunday.

It made me think that very old secret documents lie in the church vaults,which are only available to the "Priests"...is that the correct term for a Protestant church employee?....if the lovely lady wasn't the Vicar,what was her title in the church domain then?

She seemed to know a lot about the history of the church,cos I had a good crack with her,sitting in a pew,after everybody had gone.!

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REEDY!....The Doctor Pit Drift wadn't see thi light of day after the forst 50 yards!

Us kids played aroond the entrance,and ventured doon less than that distance,[when I was aboot 10 years aad!],but as years went by and I would have a bit snoop aroond,and with all my mining experience driving drifts like that one,it was probably  on a gradient of 1-in-6....which was aboot the steepest gradient comfortable to get down to the seams quickly with a rubber conveyor belt running up it's length to bring the coal oot.

The steepest  gradient I ever worked on was a 1-in-1,then a 1-in-2,and also vertical staple-shaft.

My point is,by the time the drift ran under the Market -place,it would have been aboot 100 feet down under![roughly!]

A canna see why the tunnels shud be regarded as an urban myth ........the Monks were working shallow seams of coal wi nae tools other than wood shuvels and very primitive picks ,artifacts as such were found aroond the Bedlington A pit site

years ago,then more recently when Bower Grange was being developed..a JCB was digging the foundations and fell into some aad workings aboot 20 feet doon![aroond 1980-ish],what the old monks had left!

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10 hours ago, HIGH PIT WILMA said:

...

A canna see why the tunnels shud be regarded as an urban myth ........the Monks were working shallow seams of coal wi nae tools other than wood shuvels and very primitive picks ,artifacts as such were found aroond the Bedlington A pit site years ago,then more recently when Bower Grange was being developed..a JCB was digging the foundations and fell into some aad workings aboot 20 feet doon![aroond 1980-ish],what the old monks had left!

Some of you might recall the opencast at Plessy which was on the site of what is now MSD the drug manufacturers which extended from Windmill Hill to the old airship field at the beacon hill end of Cramlington. they found wooden shovels etc there and they were from workings which had been accessed by adits driven in from the river bank on the north side of the river at the bend. There was a sign put up many years ago warning of mine shafts on the north side of the river.

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Hi Pilgrim,thanks for that info,a knew aboot the opencast,but nivvor hord owt aboot thi artifacts found there!!

A can mind the notice aboot thi old mine shafts in Hartford woods.

There's an old mine addit alang the Free wood on the Blyth side "top path",and the rails were still visible amang the tree roots and overgrowth.

We kids used to poke lang sticks inti the orange waata wat was lying aal aroond the entrance ti thi drift...pure orange it was....Ferric Oxide?[from the Iron-stone strata]....wud it have been from the old ironworks mining the ironstone maybe....or older?

The waata at Choppington High Pit was very high in iron content similar to that in the woods.

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