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11630The Greenwich Foot Tunnel – a celebration of its 1912 opening and recent refurbishment

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  • Francis Sedgemore
    Jul 21, 2014
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      Press release from the Friends of Greenwich and Woolwich Foot Tunnels (Fogwoft)

      The Greenwich Foot Tunnel: a celebration of its 1912 opening and recent refurbishment

      August 2014 sees the 102nd anniversary of the opening of the Greenwich Foot Tunnel. To mark this special occasion, and perhaps more significantly the near completion of the tunnel refurbishment, the Friends of Greenwich and Woolwich Foot Tunnels have arranged a celebration accompanied by music and speakers.

      On 4 August 1912, the Greenwich Foot Tunnel was opened with late Victorian pomp and circumstance by luminaries of London led by Major-General Herbert Francis Eaton, 3rd Baron Cheylesmore, then chairman of London County Council. The Greenwich and Woolwich foot tunnels together owe their existence to that great Victorian working class hero Will Crooks. The Woolwich MP's vision was of a free passage under the Thames for people commuting to work in the docks and factories on the north bank.

      Now, in the summer of 2014, our celebration will be led by ordinary members of the local community who treasure the Greenwich and Woolwich Foot Tunnels, and have played a constructive role in securing their future. 

      A nationally funded refurbishment programme begun in the late noughties soon stalled, and for several years we saw little progress in either the refurbishment or accounting for project management failures. Following keen community interest, things began to move, and today, with new contracting engineers and renewed political oversight, the refurbishment work on both tunnels is nearly complete.

      There is work still to do, but nevertheless it's time to party!

      Local people and visitors to Greenwich are warmly invited to join the Friends of Greenwich and Woolwich Foot Tunnels at 3pm on Sunday 3 August 2014, by the south entrance to the Greenwich Tunnel in Cutty Sark Gardens, London SE10 9LW. Before processing through the tunnel to Island Gardens in Poplar, there will be short talks by industrial historian Dr Mary Mills and Ian Blore, both of Fogwoft.

      Musical accompaniment for the procession will be provided by Michael Underwood and Oscar Laurence. At the end of the short walk through the tunnel, refreshments will be laid on by Paul Aldridge, and donations to Fogwoft gratefully accepted.

      Our thanks to Apex Lifts for sponsoring this event.

      Fogwoft media contact: Dr Francis Sedgemore (www.sedgemore.com)
      Fogwoft website: www.fogwoft.com
      Fogwoft on Twitter: @fogwoft

      Dr Francis Sedgemore
      journalist, writer and editor
      telephone: +44 7840 191336
      website: sedgemore.com
      twitter: @hesgen

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