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A tunnel that runs under London Bridge station linking the streets on either side of the site has reopened to the public following refurbishment works.
Stainer Street was a dark road that runs under London Bridge station with two very narrow pedestrian paths and was mostly used by road traffic. Despite its unpromising appearance, it was, and is, a very useful cut-through to get from one side of the station to the other without going all the way around.
As part of the recent upgrade works, the space beside it was converted into the new passenger area, and the path to the Underground would pass right through the middle of the road.
Not viable, so it’s been converted into a new pedestrian tunnel.
The tunnel was supposed to be open 24 hours per day, but as was noted by SE1, it will in fact close between 1.30am and 4.30am for security reasons and to allow servicing to take place.
The old dirt and soot has been cleaned away and they’ve left in the detailing of replacement brickworks and repairs over its century of use.
What slightly elevate the tunnel though are a work of art and a series of historical plaques.
The art, by South London based artist Mark Titchner is a series of glass “umbrellas” hanging from the ceiling, most of which are decoratively lit from above and are engraved with meaningful inscriptions which are meant to inspire, but are actually quite a pain to stop and read.
However, running along the walls are a series of plaques showing four of the key stages in London Bridge station’s development from small terminus to the huge groundscraper that it is today.
Further down, a memory to a darker time, when the tunnel was used as an air raid shelter, but was hit by a bomb in 1941 killing 68 people.
At the Southern end, glass doors have been added, and at a slight angle to the rest of the tunnel, leading to a series of very nondescript arches. So easy to overlook that they are almost encouraging people to use the station entrance next door instead.
This article first appeared on www.ianvisits.co.uk
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