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Tunnel under Bothwell St???

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 8:06 pm
by crusty_bint
Has anyone ever worked in Dial House on Bothwell St? For those who havn't, it's at the western end of Bothwell St, the last building, just behind the Eagle Building.

Anywho, It was built in the late fifties for BT (still part of the GPO at the time), to house the central processor for the west of Scotland (probably just broke the DPA for tellin u' that), and is totally fortified!!

All the old engineers and operators used to talk of the tunnel in the basement (thats three basements down). The stories went that they were part of a network that were built leading to a bomb shelter under George Square.

Does anyone know of other "cold-war tunnels" under the city???

It's all coming back to me...

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 12:28 am
by crusty_bint
There is a tunnel near Old Shettleston Rd on the wasteland behind the Scottish Power building. It was some time ago now that I saw it but it may have ran parallell with the road. It was a large square opening cut into the ground and faced with brick. At the time I saw it, it was flooded, but you could still see about the top third of the two tunnel openings.

There are also tunnels under Glasgow Uni:

"In the early 1950's, during thr construction of the new chemistry building by T. H. Hughes, a deep coal mine was uncovered. [Phooto~ Annan] shows university workers preparing to make the mine safe by walling up between the pillars. Hillhead is pervaded by numerous redundant mines, many dating from the mid-eighteenth century. The last mines in the area were sunk in the 1820's by James Gibson, the self-styled 'Coalmaster of Hillhead'.
Gordon R. Urquart
Along Great Western Road
<<There are some good photos of the west end, with some great photos of all the railway lines that have operated in the area including the construction of the Botanic Garden station, the Lanarkshire and Dumbarton Railway and numerous Central Line photos>>

Sorry about the advert, I thought some of you might be interested... and I'm sure James H has it memorised ::): :wink: ::):

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2004 9:30 am
by caine
i used to work in dial house, and the building was designed to withstand a direct hit from german bombers during the war so that all the exchange equipment in the basement would still be operational if glasgow came under fire.

the basements in that place are rank, and to be honest have a tendancy to leak as they are below the water level of the clyde and the buildings course work isnt very water tight!

i have heard from the engineers about that tunnel, but the powers that be put in some hefty security doors to prevent access as the tunnel is used by bt for cables to serve glasgow city centre, its easier to drill up the way into a building than it is to dig up the road and lay new cables, which is what the did down the west end tunnels as well, or maybe it was NTL, but either way its a cheap way of doing it.

i hear that bt are now using sewers to house their cables for broadband as its easier and cheaper.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 4:13 pm
by crusty_bint
Cheers for the reply! ::):

Ive since had yoyur story confirmed... oh well, ho hum!

Re: Tunnel under Bothwell St???

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 4:37 pm
by JayKay

Anywho, It was built in the late fifties for BT (still part of the GPO at the time), to house the central processor for the west of Scotland (probably just broke the DPA for tellin u' that), and is totally fortified!!

All the old engineers and operators used to talk of the tunnel in the basement (thats three basements down). The stories went that they were part of a network that were built leading to a bomb shelter under George Square.

There were underground Cold War telephone exchanges built in Manchester (known as Guardian), one in Brimingham (Anchor) and another in London (Kingsway.) These were built in the early 50's, and designed to withstand a Hiroshima sized (20kton) bomb over their cities. The idea was that even if the city was destroyed, the phone network would be maintained.

Anchor was the largest, completed in '57 at the cost of £4 million. Locals were told a new underground railway was being built, but the project halted for being uneconomic.

Advances in the size of Nukes made these structures obsolete by the time they were completed. They did however perform telecom functions, but are now mostly redundant.

Anchor is not even kept on a care and maintenence basis and is out of bounds to even BT staff for health and safety reasons.

Guardian is used as a secure cable route, meaning that city streets don't need dug up (interesting in light of one of the Glasgow comments)

Kingsway was offered for sale by BT in '96.

More on Anchor

When taken of the official secret list, reports at the time apparently mentioned a Glasgow exchange, but there's no evidence that it exists. Unless Hidden Glasgow readers know otherwise.... ;-)

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 12:06 pm
by caine
i've never heard of even a tiny rumour of an undergound exchange in glasgow from the engineers, dial house was the best we got i think. the floors are about 9 foot thik of re-inforced concret and steel.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:00 pm
by JayKay
My thoughts are that they never built an underground exchange in Glasgow.

If Dial House was built to withstand WW2, they probably figured it wasn't worth spending several million to build an even more reinforced one just a few years later.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:06 pm
by crusty_bint
I've had a look through those sites about the other three underground exchanges... great stuff!!

I worked in operator services in Dial House for a while and there were some old dears who worked for BT for about 40 years or sumthin who used to go on about the tunnel all the time. i could never geto to see any of the good stuff but I was assured there was some of the old eqyuipment still down there (operator switchboards).

It always seemed such an over-specified building... 10+ stories all for exchange equipment (?), and does have some similarities with the construction of some of these other sites i.e. thick, blast-proof concrete walls, some portions being faced with brick and the rest is just large pebbles inserted into the concrete (some pics might be needed methinks), the air-con was atrocious as well... it was always frreezin! Could this have something to do with cooling underground exchange equipment???

I was talking with a mate of mine thats an engineer, he knew the stories of the tunnel too. However, his versions a bit different. According to him there is a tunnel from Dial House and connected to neighbouring Telephone House. The tunnel is used for cables and is "vaccum sealed". Could what he descrIbed be the blast door/air lock to the tunnel similar to the pic on the Guardian link?

I must know, need to know.... damn.... tell me, tell me :twisted: :?: :evil: :?: :twisted:

huvv a' taen ris too far?

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 5:06 pm
by crusty_bint
I took some quick fotos today on my way home... in the pishin rain I might add!

Dial House from Pitt St (North elevation)
This is where Dial House is entered on the first floor from Bothwell St. The entrance is at the western tip of Bothwell St before the M8/Kingston Bridge off ramp joins the city centre grid, which means its a dead end for pedestrians. The black glass building in front of it is the Eagle Building.

Telephone House & top of Dial House
This is Telephone House (1937ish) and later extension (see arial view) which also houses a lot of exchange equipment. You can see the sattelite array on the top of Dial house... there used to be dozens up there but they're closing it down. (operator services about a year or two ago and telemarketing moves out in the next few months). These two buildings are connected via the basement levels.

the entrance to telephone House
Waterloo St on ramp to M8/Kingston Bridge. The lane running down the side leads to the courtyard of Telephone House and underpass of Dial H as well as access to the Hilton.

ventilation grills... lots of em

Vents at the rear of T H
theres a large sliding door for lorry access to the left of this pic (couldnt fit it in coz I was sheltering from the rain). You can also see some of the exchange equipment in the windows on the right.

D H underpass.... its always that dark!
There are large vents on the left hand wall... and thats not my beanie at the bottom!

Underpass vents (one of em)

Other side of the underpass
The underpass is on the left. That door has always been barracaded... look, more vents... huh! 8O

View from the underpass

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 10:13 am
by caine
you will never now the hatred i have for that building, BT, and Kelly Services..... :madred:

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 10:43 am
by Jazza
I worked there to caine, for Kelly services.

Happy days! ::):

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 12:10 pm
by caine
happy my arse! apart from the lack of work i did......

although i have to say that Mandy from kellys was the easiest person in the world to wrap round your little finger so you didnt get a warning for being of sick. ::): and the other fat little guy was just plain annoying!

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 3:10 pm
by crusty_bint
caine wrote:you will never now the hatred i have for that building, BT, and Kelly Services..... :madred:

Your quite right Caine... that Mandy deserves a toe up her arse!

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 3:32 pm
by Jazza
Ok so it was crap, but it paid the bills.

<<<< ha ha i am royalty! ::):

The Tunnel

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 12:49 am
by tip2tail
There is DEFFINATLY - 100% - a tunnel under dial house.

Can't say how I know for fear of repremand - but I know! The tunnel actually runs from there to the junction of Cathedral Street + North Hannover Street.

The small building next to the Buchanan Galleries carpaprk - on the corner - used to be only Iron Cladding. However BT were asked by the city council to try and make it blend with the rest of the Galleries building.

That little building there is actually only a lift saft - housing a vehicle caipable lift down to the tunnel. Down there BT (apperently) have modified corporate glf cats to drive up and down in. FUN!

I don't know if it goes any furthere than Dial Houe - the Lift Shaft but I do know it is there!