Southern Water Storm Tunnel.

I was given exclusive access to the works when pushing a TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine) under Hastings & St Leonards from the very start and took many pictures in the process.

I was also asked to take video’s for the Emergency services, Fire & Ambulance (Police weren’t involved) whilst carrying out a simulated rescue from deep down in the Storm Water Tunnel, whereby a person was trapped under a large concrete section.

You will have to forgive me when looking at some of the photo’s as some are not as good as others, mainly due to the fact the camera was quite old and still used wet film and sometimes the flash didn’t always work! I did use 2 cameras and a video cam recorder for the action shots, unfortunately haven’t got round to putting those on line as yet, but we will!

Please, if you have any comments or questions then use the contact box at the top of this page, and I will endeavour to answer your questions as to my ability of an author and not as a Southern Water man!

PLEASE NOTE:  ALL PICTURES SHOWN HERE ARE

STRICTLY COPYRIGHT © 2017  richardpollard.co.uk  

Copies can be made upon request for a small fee.

Alexandra Park shaft lining segments October 1997

Alexandra Park shaft lining segments
October 1997

Alexandra Park dig begins on 22mtr deep shaft October 1997

Alexandra Park dig begins on 22mtr deep shaft
October 1997

Temporary spoil bin in Alexandra Park, so that digging could make a start. October 1997

Temporary spoil bin in Alexandra Park, so that digging could make a start.
October 1997

Digging away at the base, as the spoil was removed hydrolic rams pushed down on the ring forcing the complete ring downwards, as more concrete rings were added the weight alone did most of the work. October 1997

Digging away at the base, as the spoil was removed hydraulic rams pushed down on the ring forcing the complete ring downwards, as more concrete rings were added the weight alone did most of the work.
October 1997

Another view of the shaft

Another view of the shaft

Rock Crusher sitting on its new base but waiting for the roof to be installed.

Rock Crusher sitting on its new base but waiting for the roof to be installed.

Starting the shaft at Warrior Square Gardens. October 1997

Starting the shaft at Warrior Square Gardens.
October 1997

Bolting on another ring of concrete segments at Warrior Square. October 1997

Bolting on another ring of concrete segments at Warrior Square.
October 1997

Control panel that operates the rams mounted around the top of the shaft. October 1997

Control panel that operates the rams mounted around the top of the shaft.
October 1997

Coombes Motors old showroom and garage site on Western Road, now the new site for the pumping station. October 1997

Coombs Motors old showroom and garage site on Western Road, now the new site for the pumping station.
October 1997

As the same as picture above.

As the same as picture above.

Alexandra Park shaft now sunk to the maximum depth. November 1997

Alexandra Park shaft now sunk to the maximum depth. The only way down at the moment is by crane lowering you in a cage as seen here, and the plant was carried up and down in the same fashion (but not in a cage!)
November 1997

Settlement tanks prior to being housed in a shed type building. November 1997

Settlement tanks prior to being housed in a shed type building.
November 1997

Liquid/Silt separators almost ready for use. November 1997

Liquid/Silt separators almost ready for use.
November 1997

Rock crushers and shaking beds now installed under cover. November 1997

Rock crushers and shaking beds now installed under cover.
November 1997

Cornwallis Gardens getting ready for yet another shaft to connect to the Town Centre. November 1997

Cornwallis Gardens getting ready for yet another shaft to connect to the Town Centre.
November 1997

Brookland Close shaft well under way, this one connects to Alexandra Park main tunnel as you will see further on. November 1997

Brookland Close shaft well under way, this one connects to Alexandra Park main tunnel as you will see further on.
November 1997

Brookland Close shaft spoil being removed straight onto a waiting lorry and taken down to Alexandra park for bulk removal. November 1997

Brookland Close shaft spoil being removed straight onto a waiting lorry and taken down to Alexandra park for bulk removal.
November 1997

Brookland Close shaft showing exit tunnel to Alexandra Park. At this present time the exit was sealed as this was a live sewer intersection!! Stand well back! Again November 1997

Brookland Close shaft showing exit tunnel to Alexandra Park.
At this present time the exit was sealed as this was a live sewer intersection!!
Stand well back!
Again November 1997

Coombes, showing main iron cutting ring on base of concrete liners that dug its way downwards under the weight of the rings above and hydraulic pressure. November 1997.

Coombs, showing main iron cutting ring on base of concrete liners that dug its way downwards under the weight of the rings above and with the aid of some hydraulic pressure in the form of rams pushing down on the top layer.
November 1997.

Alexandra Park starting to enclose some machinery in semi sound proof enclosures. December 1997

Alexandra Park starting to enclose some machinery in semi sound proof enclosures.
December 1997

Alexandra Park concreting base of shaft. November 1997

Alexandra Park concreting base of shaft.
November 1997

Alexandra Park. Main 7m tunnel ring in place in readiness for the larger TBM, this will connect with Warrior Square. January 1998

Alexandra Park. Main 7m tunnel ring in place in readiness for the larger TBM, this will connect with Warrior Square.
January 1998

Alexandra Park. 'Little Ceel' 2m TBM in readiness to bore its way to Brookland Close. January 1998

Alexandra Park. ‘Little Ceel’ 2m TBM in readiness to bore its way to Brookland Close. (If you were wondering to how this 2m TBM arrived here……….well it came on the back of a few lorries in many pieces delivered straight into Alexandra Park, whereby it was lowered piece by piece down the shaft and put together, the brown marks on top are where the lifting eyes were cut off and ground flat.  At the receiving end the lifting eyes were welded back on, so there you are). I suppose it’s more like trying to get your head through a hole but your ears were in the way, the only solution to that is….CUT THEM OFF!
January 1998

2m Tunnel linings. January 1998

2m Tunnel linings.
January 1998

Alexandra Park. Starting to assemble the conveyor belt housing that will carry the spoil away to the adjacent railway sidings to be carted away by train to a landfill somewhere in Kent! January 1998

Alexandra Park. Starting to assemble the conveyor belt housing that will carry the spoil away to the adjacent railway sidings to be carted away by train to a landfill somewhere in Kent!
January 1998

Conveyor belt housings being made ready for installation across the road to the railway sidings. January 1998

Conveyor belt housings being made ready for installation across the road to the railway sidings.
January 1998

Alexandra Park. 'Little Ceel' the 2m TBM ready to drill its way to Brookland Close. The machine had been drilling but was withdrawn due to a fault on the cutting head, hence the worn look! February 1998

Alexandra Park. ‘Little Ceel’ the 2m TBM ready to drill its way to Brookland Close.
The machine had been drilling but was withdrawn due to a fault on the cutting head, hence the worn look!
February 1998

Alexandra Park. Showing port of entry for 7m tunnel to Warrior Square. February 1998

Alexandra Park. Showing port of entry for 7m tunnel to Warrior Square.
February 1998

Same as before but from a different angle.

Same as before but from a different angle.

Conveyor almost complete. February 1998

Conveyor almost complete.
February 1998

Railway sidings behind Earl Street to where the conveyor will tip the spoil into a massive storage containing area in readiness to by carted away by the railway. February 1998

Railway sidings behind Earl Street to where the conveyor will tip the spoil into a massive storage containing area in readiness to by carted away by the railway.
February 1998

Coomb's site during early stages of shaft digging. January 1998

Coombs site during early stages of shaft digging.
January 1998

Coomb's site taken from a different angle.

Coombs site taken from a different angle.

Coomb's shaft being dug under great difficulties, as they had encountered a 3m thick layer of Lime Stone! January 1998

Coombs shaft being dug under great difficulties, as they had encountered a 3m thick layer of Lime Stone!
January 1998

As above but looking down into the shaft.

As above but looking down into the shaft.

Braybrooke Terrace as the road was narrowed due to yet another shaft to be dug. January 1998

Braybrooke Terrace as the road was narrowed due to yet another shaft to be dug.
January 1998

Braybrooke Terrace all fenced in and work started. March 1998

Braybrooke Terrace all fenced in and work started.
March 1998

Braybrooke Terrace and the spoil bin in full operation. March 1998

Braybrooke Terrace and the spoil bin in full operation.
March 1998

Braybrooke Close shaft under way. March 1998

Braybrooke Close shaft under way.
March 1998

Braybrooke Terrace shaft almost completed. March 1998

Braybrooke Terrace shaft almost completed.
March 1998

Coombes shaft site general view. March 1998

Coombs shaft site general view.
March 1998

Coombes site, encountering a large amount of Lime Stone, because of this slight hold up 2 diggers were now engaged in the operation to speed things on. March 1998

Coombs site, encountering a large amount of Lime Stone, because of this slight hold up 2 diggers were now engaged in the operation to speed things on.
March 1998

Warrior Square gardens being made ready for the arrival of plant and machinery. March 1998

Warrior Square gardens being made ready for the arrival of plant and machinery.
March 1998

As above taken from a different angle.

As above taken from a different angle.

Conveyor belt bridge in Alexandra Park nearly completed.

Conveyor belt bridge in Alexandra Park nearly completed.

Conveyor belt assy, being built up on the ground before being raised by crane and bolted on to the previous section.

Conveyor belt assy, being built up on the ground before being raised by crane and bolted on to the previous section.

The Railway siding that were to be put back into constant use since the late 1930s to store open wagons for the spoil to be loaded into and transported away.

The Railway siding that were to be put back into constant use since the late 1930’s to store open wagons for the spoil to be loaded into and transported away.

Looking inside one of the conveyors with the belt system nearly ready for linking up with others. March 1998

Looking inside one of the conveyors with the belt system nearly ready for linking up with others.
March 1998

'Little Ceel' TBM almost arrived at Brookland Close, just a few more tunnel pipes and she's there! The rams behind the tunnel segments push the TBM through with the lings behind. The TBM comes out at the other end leaving the bore fully lined with the concrete segments. The 7m tunnel in being opened up in readiness for the big girl TBM after the removal of the 2m equipment is lifted out of the way. (Why do I call the big TBM a girl? you just wait and see)!

‘Little Ceel’ TBM almost arrived at Brookland Close, just a few more tunnel pipes and she’s there! The rams behind the tunnel segments pushing the TBM through with the linings behind.
The TBM comes out at the other end leaving the bore fully lined with the concrete segments.
The 7m tunnel entrance is being opened up in readiness for the big ‘girl’ TBM after the removal of the 2m equipment is lifted out of the way. (Why do I call the big TBM a girl? you just wait and see)!

Alexandra Park, grey sludge and very wet clay

Alexandra Park, grey sludge and very wet clay

First load of spoil to be deposited in a temporary bin, first dry stone then very wet sludge! March 1998

First load of spoil to be deposited in a temporary bin, first dry stone then very wet sludge!
March 1998

Settlement tanks in Alexandra Park now in full use. March 1998

Settlement tanks in Alexandra Park now in full use.
March 1998

The end of the conveyor at the railway sidings.

The end of the conveyor at the railway sidings.

Warrior Square half completed plant rooms.

Warrior Square half completed plant rooms.

Same plant room but full of emptiness!

Same plant room but full of emptiness!

Cornwallis Gardens shaft outline being dug in readiness for the ring. March 1998

Cornwallis Gardens shaft outline being dug in readiness for the ring.
March 1998

Coomb's site. March 1998

Coombs site.
March 1998

Coomb's shaft now progressing much quicker afer encountering the thick layer of Lime Stone.

Coombs shaft now progressing much quicker after encountering the thick layer of Lime Stone.

'Janice' the 7m TBM awaits off shore for high tide . March 14th 1998.

‘Janice’ the 7m TBM awaits off shore for high tide .
March 14th 1998.

'Janice' has arrived! I did say it was a girl!! The reason for girls names on TBM'sis that these are generally named after the top people's wife's on the Water Board. The beach was specially dug out to accommodate the flat bottomed barge, so that when the tide went out it would remain flat!!

‘Janice’ has arrived! I did say it was a girl!!
The reason for girls names on TBM’s is that these are generally named after the top people’s wife’s on the Water Board, or whom they are built for!
The beach was specially dug out to accommodate the flat bottomed barge, so that when the tide went out it would remain flat!!

TBM being made ready for road transportation into Alexandra Park at night.

TBM being made ready for road transportation into Alexandra Park at night.

As above.

As above.

Building the roadway across from the barge to the beach.

Building the roadway across from the barge to the beach.

Roadway now built.

Roadway now built.

Heavy haulage low loaders back onto the barge under one of the rings and jack the trailer up and take it onto dry land in readiness for its journey to the park at night.

Heavy haulage low loaders back onto the barge under one of the rings and jack the trailer up and take it onto dry land in readiness for its journey to the park at night.

As above. See the cage suspended in the air with top officials on board to get a birds eye view!

As above.
See the cage suspended in the air with top officials on board to get a birds eye view!

Brookland Close and 'Little Ceel' cutting head now completed its work here brought to the surface. April 28th 1998

Brookland Close and ‘Little Ceel’ cutting head now completed its work here brought to the surface.
April 28th 1998

Brookland Close break through. The brown stain on the bottom sections of the shaft show how water was at that level during drilling when the shaft was unattended. Water was pumped out prior to break through, other wise someone would have got wet at the other end!!

Brookland Close break through.
The brown stain on the bottom sections of the shaft show how water was at that level during drilling when the shaft was unattended.
Water was pumped out prior to break through, other wise someone would have got wet at the other end!!

Brookland Close coming to an end, whereby the site was being cleared.

Brookland Close coming to an end, whereby the site was being cleared.

7m cutting head delivered to Alexandra Park. April 1998

7m cutting head delivered to Alexandra Park.
April 1998

7m TBM 'Janice' now awaits to be sent to the bottom of the shaft.

7m TBM ‘Janice’ now awaits to be sent to the bottom of the shaft.

Railway sidings spoil bins collection area now ready for use. In the construction of the walls some 480 old railway sleepers were used as a supporting wall between steel girders set into the ground. April 1998

Railway sidings spoil bins collection area now ready for use. In the construction of the walls some 480 old railway sleepers were used as a supporting wall between steel girders set into the ground.
April 1998

Braybrooke Terrace site as seen from Linton Road railway bridge. April 1998

Braybrooke Terrace site as seen from Linton Road railway bridge.
April 1998

Braybrooke Terrace shaft nearing completion. April 1998

Braybrooke Terrace shaft nearing completion.
April 1998

Cornwallis Gardens shaft. May 1998

Cornwallis Gardens shaft.
May 1998

Warrior Square shaft being cleared ion readiness to receive 'Janice'. May 1998

Warrior Square shaft being cleared ion readiness to receive ‘Janice’.
May 1998

Coomb's shaft base being concreted over. May 1998

Coombs shaft base being concreted over.
May 1998

Coomb's site being prepared for the erection of the new pumping station. May 1998

Coombs site being prepared for the erection of the new pumping station.
May 1998

As above.

As above.

View inside the 7m TBM rock crushing jaws.

View inside the 7m TBM rock crushing jaws.

Sealing brushes on ring for seal.

Sealing brushes on ring for seal.

Alexandra Park. Part of the pumping equipment that follows behind the 7m TBM. May 1998

Alexandra Park. Part of the pumping equipment that follows behind the 7m TBM.
May 1998

Hydraulic ram system that pushes the TBM forward when cutting. May 1998

Hydraulic ram system that pushes the TBM forward when cutting.
May 1998

Alexandra Park. 800 ton crane being assembled in readiness to lift all of 'Janice' and her bits and pieces down the shaft. I was informed that this is the largest land crane in the UK to lift a load of 800 tons, and had to be booked 2 years in advance; and the daily hiring cost was something like £8000 per day, so there was no time wasted here!! May 1998

Alexandra Park. 800 ton crane being assembled in readiness to lift all of ‘Janice’ and her bits and pieces down the shaft.
I was informed that this is the largest land crane in the UK to lift a load of 800 tons, and had to be booked 2 years in advance; and the daily hiring cost was something like £8000 per day, so there was no time wasted here!!
May 1998

Crane fully assembled and ready to be put to work.

Crane fully assembled and ready to be put to work.

Apart from the cutting head housing which had already been taken down, this was closely followed by the cutting head itself.

Apart from the cutting head housing which had already been taken down, this was closely followed by the cutting head itself.

And away she goes!

And away she goes!

Cutting head being positioned onto its housing which had been taken down a day earlier.

Cutting head being positioned onto its housing which had been taken down a day earlier.

Guide ring being got ready.

Guide ring being got ready.

Guide ring now secured in its proper place. May 1998

Guide ring now secured in its proper place.
May 1998

The next few pictures show the amount of additional parts required to make up a TBM .

The next few pictures show the amount of additional parts required to make up a TBM .

093

094

095

096

097

098

Now to make all this equipment work you need some power so! How about 11kv (11,000 volts) from a dedicated transformer supplied and installed by SEEB/EDF on site.

Now to make all this equipment work you need some power so! How about 11kv (11,000 volts) from a dedicated transformer supplied and installed by SEEB/EDF on site.

'Little Ceel' completed her first journey to Brookland Close, now she is to connect Warrior Square to Coomb's. June 1998.

‘Little Ceel’ completed her first journey to Brookland Close, now she is to connect Warrior Square to Coombs.
June 1998.

Alexandra Park, Emergency generator on top ready for any break in the supplies to the plant underground. July 1998

Alexandra Park, Emergency generator on top ready for any break in the supplies to the plant underground.
July 1998

A whole load of more parts of the TBM await a decent underground.

A whole load of more parts of the TBM await a decent underground.

The main control room also waiting to be lowered down.

The main control room also waiting to be lowered down.

Now lowered, it now has to be turned in line with the tunnel.

Now lowered, it now has to be turned in line with the tunnel.

Even now the train is incomplete, even though the control room has now been connected.

Even now the train is incomplete, even though the control room has now been connected.

I have no doubt was so ever as you ask how did the various parts start to disappear into the tunnel when there was so much including the control room still on top? Easy, The main cutting ring was obviously the first to be assembled and start to work, but how? A temporary wall was set up at the rear allowing the rams to push the machine forward,(later it pushed against the rings in the tunnel) and the head was controlled from a remote station on top as there was no dedicated path to follow until all the machine was set up and underway proper. There were dozens of pipes and cables going back to the top and connected with temporary equipment to get the front end moving.  The spoil was sent back as it was intended under the train and collected in large iron buckets at this stage. Now that’s how it went all on its own just for starters!!

Railway sidings. Train awaits to be filled. July 1998

Railway sidings. Train awaits to be filled.
July 1998

Cornwallis shaft all complete. The little hole at the base to the side contains a temporary sump pump to help keep the shaft free of water! June 1998

Cornwallis shaft all complete.
The little hole at the base to the side contains a temporary sump pump to help keep the shaft free of water!
June 1998

Coomb's site. Outter walls being cast in reinforced concrete. July 1998

Coombs site. Outer walls being cast in reinforced concrete.
July 1998

Coomb's shaft base being prepared for concrete oversite. July 1998

Coombs shaft base being prepared for concrete oversite.
July 1998

Coomb's shaft having a second ring installed inside the first, with landings for pumps etc. Water will be held between the two rings with the centre kept dry at all times. At various levels there are to be installed water tight inspection doors with glass windows. The gap between the two walls was about 6 foot wide. July 1998

Coombs shaft having a second ring installed inside the first, with landings for pumps etc.
Water will be held between the two rings with the centre kept dry at all times.
At various levels there are to be installed water tight inspection doors with glass windows. The gap between the two walls was about 6 foot wide.
July 1998

Braybrooke Terrace. A row of 10 terraced houses had to come down for fear of severe cracking when 'Janice' passed underneath. July 1998

Braybrooke Terrace. A row of 10 terraced houses had to come down for fear of severe cracking when ‘Janice’ passed underneath.
July 1998

As above.

As above.

This is the new train crew cab that will transport workers and equipment through the tunnel. This is a 2 foot gauge railway.

This is the new train crew cab that will transport workers and equipment through the tunnel. This is a 2 foot gauge railway.

These are the flat wagons that will carry the concrete segments to the face.

These are the flat wagons that will carry the concrete segments to the face.

Braybrooke Terrace demolition well in hand now. August 1998

Braybrooke Terrace demolition well in hand now.
August 1998

Alexandra Park. 7M TBM well under way now under its own power. The 2 ft gauge railway track has been laid in the centre in readiness to receive the train. September 1998

Alexandra Park. 7M TBM well under way now under its own power. The 2 ft gauge railway track has been laid in the centre in readiness to receive the train.
September 1998

Coombes Site. Various footings are being constructed for pumping station plant etc. September 1998

Coombs Site. Various footings are being constructed for pumping station plant etc.
September 1998

Coombes site. Outer supporting walls now completed. September 1998

Coombs site. Outer supporting walls now completed.
September 1998  The boarded  up holes in the walls will eventually have windows fitted.

Cornwallis Gardens, general view of site. September 1998.

Cornwallis Gardens, general view of site.
September 1998.

Cornwallis Gardens and 'Little Ceel' the 2m TBM on surface, ready for its last journey to the town centre. September 1998

Cornwallis Gardens and ‘Little Ceel’ the 2m TBM on surface, ready for its last journey to the town centre.
September 1998

The old cutting head that no longer is needed as this had served its purpose well.

The old cutting head that no longer is needed as this had served its purpose well.

A new style of head has been brought it to deal with a different soil condition.

A new style of head has been brought it to deal with a different soil condition.

Town Centre site being the last is being set out. September 1998

Town Centre site being the last is being set out.
September 1998

As above.

As above.

Yet same again!

Yet same again!

Memorial site shaft being out lined now that the site has been secured.

Memorial site shaft being out lined now that the site has been secured.

Braybrooke Terrace site with the 10 terraced houses nearly all gone.

Braybrooke Terrace site with the 10 terraced houses nearly all gone.

All but gone!

All but gone!

Site now cleared.

Site now cleared.

The steps to no where remain for now.

The steps to no where remain for now.

Left all neat and tidy, but no development will ever be built on this ground ever again. October 1998

Left all neat and tidy,(well nearly!) but no development will ever be built on this ground ever again.
October 1998

The saga for compensation from householders in the vicinity of the boring started very early in time (Lower Park Road) stating that the works even before they had started were claiming that their houses were cracking up!  ‘Miller and Southern Water’ employed the services of a highly qualified building surveyor to check every property in the area, one by one for any damage long before the works started and photos were taken of each house. Once the tunnel was underway the surveyor revisited all the properties and again took photos, NOTHING had changed at all even to a minor flaw! The 7m TBM did vibrate a little especially when it came across hard rock, but surface detection monitoring equipment all along its route picked up nothing abnormal for a machine of this size and depth.

The only ones that were in some sort of a problem was the stretch of 10 terraced houses directly opposite the shaft in Braybrooke Terrace that some were already in poor upkeep, so possibly the vibration from the boring might just help them on their way, especially as the foundations weren’t up to scratch!  It was a long time before a positive decision was made to compulsory purchase the entire site, but home owners weren’t happy with either the offer nor having their houses flattened!  But the level of compensation was raised to an undisclosed sum and they all eventually moved out, and then the demolition crews moved in and tore down the buildings.

The next site for discussion was Cornwallis Gardens, there was one particular property right in the line of fire as they say for the connection from the shaft in Cornwallis Gardens to the Town Centre. This, if as planned would go straight under N0 12, but the building was already unstable on the rear corner and the contractors couldn’t take the risk of having to demolish more property and rebuild, especially as this was a HMO (house of multiple occupation) so perhaps not quite the easiest answer was to divert the course of the tunnel and follow the road out of Cornwallis area and straight down the middle of Cambridge road, this way it would affect no one. All properties were monitored all the time, and I was allowed to follow one of their representatives go round and check.   Brookland Close was a different case as a domestic garage sat right on top of a man hole just where a new shaft was to be dug. Consequently, the owner was paid yet another undisclosed sum to demolish the garage and see ‘Millers’ dig a thundering great hole just where their garage was, but after all the works had finished they had a brand new garage built to a much higher specification than what was already there in the beginning. Rock crushing especially on Coombes site was a bit noisy to say the least but no one got any compensation that I am aware.

The town centre site was laugh all of its own, as before the works started the contractors were told that during reinstatement of the ground, they had to make the top bare the weight of about 50 tons, as the council would re-position the memorial clock on that circle, some 16/17 years later I can’t recall seeing a clock there!!! But ‘Southern Water’ spent a lot of extra cash installing steel girders underneath as added support apart from the reinforced concrete slab!

Coombs site. Inner ring being constructed in shaft. December 1998

Coombs site. Inner ring being constructed in shaft.
December 1998

As before.

As before.

Almost completed. December 1998

Almost completed.
December 1998

Cornwallis Gardens. 2M shaft to town centre. December 1998

Cornwallis Gardens. 2M shaft to town centre.
December 1998

Cornwallis Gardens. 'Little Ceel' the 2M TBM now starts its journey to the town centre. December 1998

Cornwallis Gardens. ‘Little Ceel’ the 2M TBM now starts its journey to the town centre.
December 1998

Alexandra Park. We are now at the base of the main shaft and looking up the tunnel which connects to Brooklands Close. December 1998

Alexandra Park. We are now at the base of the main shaft and looking up the tunnel which connects to Brooklands Close.
December 1998

Alexandra Park. Now in the tunnel looking back to the main shaft. December 1998

Alexandra Park. Now in the tunnel looking back to the main shaft.
December 1998

We are now at the front business end of the main TBM, the rams that push the whole machine forward can be seen on the left hand side. December 1998

We are now at the front business end of the main TBM, the rams that push the whole machine forward can be seen on the left hand side.
December 1998

This shows the traverser that positions the concrete segments ready for the machine to put them in their place around the ring.

This shows the traverser that positions the concrete segments ready for the machine to put them in their place around the ring.

Looking to the right hand side, again showing the rams.

Looking to the right hand side, again showing the rams.

The cutting head is behind the front wall which is air locked between two shields. If maintenance has to be carried out on the head, ie., replacing cutting wheels (which has happened on more than one occasion) The crew access the inner chamber with all the bits required for the job , then wait for the pressure to equalise with the front end before the second door is opened, this is to keep a constant pressure up so that there is minimal risk of a collapse at the head as its drawn away from the soil. All this happens in reverse on withdrawal.

The cutting head is behind the front wall which is air locked between two shields.
If maintenance has to be carried out on the head, ie., replacing cutting wheels (which has happened on more than one occasion) the crew access the inner chamber with all the bits required for the job, then wait for the pressure to equalize with the front end before the second door is opened, this is to keep a constant pressure up so that there is minimal risk of a collapse at the head as its drawn away from the soil. All this happens in reverse on withdrawal.

Coombs site. The main pumping station is now taking shape. January 1999

Coombs site. The main pumping station is now taking shape.
January 1999

As before.

As before.

Warrior Square. New shaft being hand dug to the left of the site in the roadway, this is for the overflow pipe of clean water to be discharged beyond the beach opposite. January 1999

Warrior Square. New shaft being hand dug to the left of the site in the roadway, this is for the overflow pipe of clean water to be discharged beyond the beach opposite.  All the broken clay pipes seen smashed here were replaced as new.
January 1999

This picture gives you a rough idea as to where the new shaft was sunk.

This picture gives you a rough idea as to where the new shaft was sunk.

Warrior Square. This shows a bucket on a small crane being filled with spoil dug from the hole towards the beach. January 1999

Warrior Square. This shows a bucket on a small crane being filled with spoil dug from the hole towards the beach.
January 1999

Looking up the tunnel which is being dug completely by hand.

Looking up the tunnel which is being dug completely by hand.

Another similar view.

Another similar view.

Here is a poor chap on his hands and knees digging away towards the beach. January 1999

Here is a poor chap on his hands and knees digging away towards the beach.
January 1999

Alexandra Park. The big white tube takes fresh air into the tunnel.

Alexandra Park. The big white tube takes fresh air into the tunnel.

Coombs site. The steel framework of the pump house in very much under way now. February 1999

Coombs site. The steel framework of the pump house in very much under way now.
February 1999

From yet another angle.

From yet another angle.

As before.

As before.

Looking at the steel work from above.

Looking at the steel work from above.

Warrior Square. Outfall connection being encased in a concrete wall on the beach. May 1999

Warrior Square. Outfall connection being encased in a concrete wall on the beach.
May 1999

As before.

As before.

Again as before.

Again as before.

Coombs. Bricks now on site for the build of the pump house outer walls. May 1999

Coombs. Bricks now on site for the build of the pump house outer walls.
May 1999

Coombs main shaft. Building the valve chamber. June 1999

Coombs main shaft. Building the valve chamber.
June 1999

Still the valve chamber.

Still the valve chamber.

Town Centre shaft. March 1999

Town Centre shaft.
March 1999

Cornwallis shaft being connected to main drive. May 1999

Cornwallis shaft being connected to main drive.
May 1999

Cornwallis shaft looking up from the base some 45m to the open air. June 1999

Cornwallis shaft looking up from the base some 45m to the open air.
June 1999

Braybrooke Terrace as seen from the base. June 1999

Braybrooke Terrace as seen from the base.
June 1999

Coombs outer brickwork now takes shape quite quickly. June 1999

Coombs outer brickwork now takes shape quite quickly.
June 1999

Alexandra Park. hand drive out to the road to connect to existing pipe line. June 1999

Alexandra Park. hand drive out to the road to connect to existing pipe line.
June 1999

As before.

As before.

As before, but a load of old muck!

As before, but a load of old muck!

Town Centre shaft and connections from Cornwallis Gardens along with another. June 1999

Town Centre shaft and connections from Cornwallis Gardens along with another.
June 1999

Cornwallis Garden site starting to be cleared away ready for reinstatement. June 1999

Cornwallis Garden site starting to be cleared away ready for reinstatement.
June 1999

Cornwallis Gardens shaft being made ready to be filled in.

Cornwallis Gardens shaft being made ready to be filled in.

Cornwallis Gardens back filling the shaft.

Cornwallis Gardens back
filling the shaft.

Back filling the shaft, the bin is not taking the old spoil away but dumping it back into the depths of the shaft.

Back filling the shaft, the bin is not taking the old spoil away but dumping it back into the depths of the shaft.

Alexandra Park. Grouting mixing tank up front of TBM, you stand too close when the paddles are turning and you get covered....I know I was that man! June 1999

Alexandra Park. Grouting mixing tank up front of TBM, you stand too close when the paddles are turning and you get covered….I know I was that man!
June 1999

The concrete segments being positioned. June 1999

The concrete segments being positioned.
June 1999

Putting the long bolts in place that secures the segments in place, these are tightened by a pneumatic air gun.

Putting the long bolts in place that secures the segments in place, these are tightened by a pneumatic air gun.

Yes, this is now the other side!

Yes, this is now the other side!

Another segment comes into place.

Another segment comes into place.

All looking good up til now. June 1999

All looking good up til now.
June 1999

Coombs. Asphalting the roof area of the pumping station. July 1999

Coombs. Asphalting the roof area of the pumping station.
July 1999

Coombs. Laying 3inch thick polystyrene blocks then pumping from ground level hot asphalt which is then leveled out. July 1999

Coombs. Laying 3 inch thick polystyrene blocks then pumping from ground level hot asphalt which is then leveled out.
July 1999

Coombs roof gardens being formed in ornamental brick shapes, so that people in the flats over looking the plant don't just have to look at a plain old roof. July 1999

Coombs roof gardens being formed in ornamental brick shapes, so that people in the flats over looking the plant don’t just have to look at a plain old roof.
July 1999

Alexandra Park. Last train load of concrete ring segments being transported to the front end, just days away from break through at warrior Square. August 1999

Alexandra Park. Last train load of concrete ring segments being transported to the front end, just days away from break through at warrior Square.
August 1999

Now arrived at the front end. Just hours away from break through.

Now arrived at the front end. Just hours away from break through.

Warrior Square. Baldwins have now supplied the contractors with one of their new 1000 ton cranes to retrieve the TBM from the shaft into daylight. August 1999

Warrior Square. Baldwins have now supplied the contractors with a 1000 ton crane to retrieve the TBM from the shaft back into the daylight.
August 1999

Warrior Square. The 1000 tonner has joined forces with another of their fleet, this time just a 300 ton crane. these will work in tandem when the parts reach the surface when they have to be laid down flat ready for transportation on a low loader. August 1999

Warrior Square. The 1000 tonner has joined forces with another of their fleet, this time just a 300 ton crane. these will work in tandem when the parts reach the surface when they have to be laid down flat ready for transportation on a low loader.
August 1999

Cutter bearing housing now out on top, now laid flat.

Cutter bearing housing now out on top, now laid flat.

The bearing housing, but it looks as if it's had a hard time under Hastings!

The bearing housing, but it looks as if it’s had a hard time under Hastings!

Looking up through the housing.

Looking up through the housing.

The cutter head.

The cutter head.

The cutting head up close.

The cutting head up close.

Poor old thing really now needs to see a dentist!!

Poor old thing really now needs to see a dentist!! We appear to have lost a molar somewhere!!!

Whilst the welding back on of the lifting eyes are re-attached, a tarpaulin covers the arc from the welding to protect those looking on (such as me!).

Whilst the welding back on of the lifting eyes are re-attached, a tarpaulin covers the arc from the welding to protect those looking on (such as me!).

Now ready to be attached to the chains and hoisted up onto dry land.

Now ready to be attached to the chains and hoisted up onto dry land.

Whilst the TBM is taken apart within the confines of the tunnel, there is barely enough room for each section to be lifted out, with only a few inches in clearance on either side.

Whilst the TBM is taken apart within the confines of the tunnel, there is barely enough room for each section to be lifted out, with only a few inches in clearance on either side.

Hello, I made it minus a few bits!

Hello, I made it minus a few bits! This is the ram section.

Looks in quite a state and be sure that it was just that!

Looks in quite a state and be sure that it was just that!

I did say earlier on in the show that when you saw the machine removed from the tunnel it would look rather like a piece of scrap metal, the lower parts were simply covered in lubricating oil, and hydraulic oil etc, etc. But according to the big officials that by the time it has gone through the manufacturers factory to recondition the machine it will look as new again (minus a few hundred thousand pounds).

I did say earlier on in the show that when you saw the machine removed from the tunnel it would look rather like a piece of scrap metal, the lower parts were simply covered in lubricating oil, and hydraulic oil etc, etc. But according to the big officials that by the time it has gone through the manufacturers factory to recondition the machine it will look as new again (minus a few hundred thousand pounds).

Same dirty old parts.

Same dirty old parts.

Last view of this part.

Last view of this part.

Ere George! I swear there is a bit missing here!

Ere George! I swear there is a bit missing here!

Ram section being made ready to be laid flat on blocks.

Ram section being made ready to be laid flat on blocks.

More pieces made ready for the lift.

More pieces made ready for the lift.

Alexandra Park. Equipment being dismantled in readiness to clear the site, and return the area back to what it was.

Alexandra Park. Equipment being dismantled in readiness to clear the site, and return the area back to what it was.

More plant being removed.

More plant being removed.

Cornwallis Gardens being reinstated back to a public area. September 1999

Cornwallis Gardens being reinstated back to a public area.
September 1999

Cornwallis Gardens from another angle.

Cornwallis Gardens from another angle.

Yes! completely out of order I know, but this is Braybrooke Terrace in the early stages of demolition. October 1998

Yes! completely out of order I know, but this is Braybrooke Terrace in the early stages of demolition.
October 1998

Yep! one more of the ill fated terrace before it all came down.

Yep! one more of the ill fated terrace before it all came down.

Alexandra Park shaft. this is a tractor being lowered down into the depths of the shaft to pull back the parts which couldn't be removed at Warrior Square end, like the control room and other large parts that couldn't be dismantled beyond their size that was supplied in the first place. September 1999

Alexandra Park shaft. this is a tractor being lowered down into the depths of the shaft to pull back the parts which couldn’t be removed at Warrior Square end, like the control room and other large parts that couldn’t be dismantled beyond their size that was supplied in the first place.
September 1999

Now almost at the ready to enter the tunnel to retrieve those larger parts.

Now almost at the ready to enter the tunnel to retrieve those larger parts.

Alexandra Park. Shaft concrete lid sections being delivered in readiness to cap the shaft for ever more. January 2000

Alexandra Park. Shaft concrete lid sections being delivered in readiness to cap the shaft for ever more.
January 2000

One of the sections.

One of the sections.

The sections being laid in order to fit the circumference of the shaft..

The sections being laid in order to fit the circumference of the shaft..

Quite an area to cover! The filtration plant has been placed under the cover on a level cast for this assembly to sit away from the rising waters in the tunnel.

Quite an area to cover! The filtration plant has been placed under the cover on a level cast for this assembly to sit away from the rising waters in the tunnel.

On the ring numbered 1066 a plaque was placed to commemorate this achievement in line with King Harold and the 'Battle of Hastings' in 1066

On the ring numbered 1066 a plaque was placed to commemorate this achievement in line with King Harold and the ‘Battle of Hastings’ in 1066

To commemorate the finish of the tunnel, Southern Water issue just 1,066 tickets to the public to walk the tunnel before it was sealed for life

To commemorate the finish of the tunnel, Southern Water offered just 1,066 tickets to the public to walk the tunnel before it was sealed for life, as this type of project would never in our lifetime been seen again in Hastings.  On completion of the walk you were issued with a certificate to say that you had completed the walk. At both ends you were lowered down in a cage and brought out by the same method.  November 1999

At points of interest along the tunnel, signs informed you to where you were at any given point.

At points of interest along the tunnel, signs informed you to where you were at any given point.

The end is in sight, I kept telling my wife that (as I did the journey many times on the train) That's my dear wife in front with the white coat, not the one in the fluorescent jacket Silly!!

The end is in sight, I kept telling my wife that (as I did the journey many times on the train) That’s my dear wife in front with the white coat, not the one in the fluorescent jacket Silly!!

Falaise Road, the air vent for the Warrior Square tunnel, it wasn't allowed to be erected anywhere near to the gardens, so the only place was at the toilets in Falaise Road, disguised as a clock. January 2000.

Falaise Road, the air vent for the Warrior Square tunnel, it wasn’t allowed to be erected anywhere near to the gardens, so the only place was at the toilets in Falaise Road, disguised as a clock.
January 2000.

Alexandra Park. The vent pipe from the shaft comes up behind the toilet block , the stack is yet to be built.

Alexandra Park. The vent pipe from the shaft comes up behind the toilet block , the stack is yet to be built.

Warrior Square. The concrete oversite has been lifted in readiness for carting away. February 2000

Warrior Square. The concrete oversite has been lifted in readiness for carting away.
February 2000

Warrior Square. Clearing the site, and all the boundary fences started to collapse and having to be propped. up.

Warrior Square. Clearing the site, and all the boundary fences started to collapse and having to be propped. up.

From another angle.

From another angle.

Coombs roof brickwork showing very expensive purpose made Southern Waters trade mark tiles. February 2000

Coombs roof brickwork showing very expensive purpose made Southern Waters trade mark tiles.
February 2000

Coombs roof garden now ready for top soil to be delivered and put into the bedding areas. February 2000

Coombs roof garden now ready for top soil to be delivered and put into the bedding areas.
February 2000

Coombs. The pipes sticking out of the border planters are water drains.

Coombs. The pipes sticking out of the border planters are water drains.

Coombs. This is a picture of one of the ornamental door ways built into the building.

Coombs. This is a picture of one of the ornamental door ways built into the building.

Alexandra Park. Breaking up the concrete floor of the site. February 2000

Alexandra Park. Breaking up the concrete floor of the site.
February 2000

Again but from a different angle.

Again but from a different angle.

Alexandra Park. The start of the hoarding around the site being dismantled. February 2000

Alexandra Park. The start of the hoarding around the site being dismantled.
February 2000

Alexandra Park shaft lid now concreted over. February 2000

Alexandra Park shaft lid now concreted over.
February 2000

The cover plates to access the plant mounted on a purpose built shelf just under the lid.

The cover plates to access the plant mounted on a purpose built shelf just under the lid.

The covering tops for the trap access have now arrived.

The covering tops for the trap access have now arrived.

Lids now positioned, these are designed to be covered in soil, and grass to disguise these from a flat lawn. The covers don't lift out, they hinge! February 2000

Lids now positioned, these are designed to be covered in soil, and grass to disguise these from a flat lawn.
The covers don’t lift out, they hinge!
February 2000

The old Park keepers cottage just inside the main gate was taken over for the duration as offices, (mind you there was more mud on the floor here than in the tunnel at times!).

The old Park keepers cottage just inside the main gate was taken over for the duration as offices, (mind you there was more mud on the floor here than in the tunnel at times!).

Warrior Square was under going the same treatment as far as putting a lid on the shaft. February 2000

Warrior Square was under going the same treatment as far as putting a lid on the shaft.
February 2000

As above.

As above.

Alexandra Park shaft venting came up behind the toilet block, the plastic pipe was more or less the liner, this was to be encased in brickwork later on. March 2000

Alexandra Park shaft venting came up behind the toilet block, the plastic pipe was more or less the liner, this was to be encased in brickwork later on.
March 2000

Warrior Square gardens almost looking something like normal! June 2000

Warrior Square gardens almost looking something like normal!
June 2000

And so the reinstatement goes on.

And so the reinstatement goes on.

Coombs inside the pumping station near enough now completed. March 2000

Coombs inside the pumping station near enough now completed.
March 2000

Coombs. Down inside the shaft with all the pipework and pumps below us. June 2000

Coombs. Down inside the shaft with all the pipework and pumps below us.
June 2000

Coombs. Just a glimpse of some of the equipment. There were a lot more pictures taken but unbeknown to me the film jammed after taken just a couple of shots!.

Coombs. Just a glimpse of some of the equipment.
There were a lot more pictures taken but unbeknown to me the film jammed after taken just a couple of shots!.

Coombs. Sludge bins from cleaning the screens. (it stank!!). perhaps that's to why there are double doors to get into the plant, just like an air lock! June 2000

Coombs. Sludge bins from cleaning the screens. (it stank!!). perhaps that’s to why there are double doors to get into the plant, just like an air lock!
June 2000

Alexandra Park. The soil had now been rotorvated and raked several hundred times, and grass seed was sewn on the area. June 2000

Alexandra Park. The soil had now been rotorvated and raked several hundred times, and grass seed was sewn on the area.
June 2000

The area had a new approach road and footpaths laid, compliments of Southern Water (how kind!).

The area had a new approach road and footpaths laid, compliments of Southern Water (how kind!).

Alexandra Park tunnel vent pipe now built. (how posh!!!). June 2000

Alexandra Park tunnel vent pipe now built. (how posh!!!).
June 2000

Lastly, the rebuilt garage that had to be demolished to gain access to the new surface water shaft. Now a bright shiny new garage emerges from on top the shaft! June 2000

Lastly, the rebuilt garage that had to be demolished to gain access to the new surface water shaft. Now a bright shiny new garage emerges from on top the shaft!
June 2000

 

 

We have now reached this point in time to where we must close this little piece of Hastings history, whereby all the workers have gone and all the sites have been reinstated to their original formats.

 

My sincere thanks must go to ‘Southern Water and Millers’ for their total cooperation in letting me be a free agent to go where no others had gone.

 

 

For those of you that have tried to count the pictures here, there are 251, but in the collection there are more than 350, but only the best were chosen.

 

Thank you for having the interest to come on board and look at my web site, if you have any comments about the site, please respond by using the contact box at the top of the page, thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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