Rosie Duffield MP Visits Crab & Winkle Tunnel

On Saturday 25th May we were delighted to welcome Rosie Duffield MP to visit the Tyler Hill Tunnel in Canterbury.  Along with Rosie we also had local councillors from Canterbury City Council; Alan Baldock (Leader), Mike Sole (Deputy Loader), Mel Dawkins (St Stephen’s) and Paul Prentice (Barton). From the university of Kent at Canterbury we were joined by Dr Catharine Morris – sustainability manager. _X1A7452 (Large)

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The tunnel is Grade II* Listed.  It is 828 yards (757 metres) long and was opened on May 3rd 1830.  It was the first railway tunnel with a regular passenger service – in the world._X1A7586 (Large)


The tunnel was mostly filled in after part of it collapsed in the 1970s.  There is now 80 metres still accessible from the South Portal._X1A7415-Enhanced-NR (Large)


Canterbury City Council Leader – Alan Baldock – Remembers going in the tunnel when he attended the Archbishop’s School._X1A7365 (Large)


Robin Townsend (Trustee) with Canterbury City Council Deputy Leader – Mike Sole. _X1A7257 (Large)


Dr Catharine Morris – Sustainability Manager at The University of Kent and Canterbury.  The University own the Northern portion of the tunnel and the trackbed to Tyler Hill Road._X1A7317 (Large)


Tunnel owner (South Portal) and Crab and Winkle Line Trust Patron – Paul Roberts. _X1A7303 (Large)


Trustee Robin Townsend using four candles (pun intended) to demonstrate that the tunnel was dug with hand tools by candle light._X1A7292 (Large)

The trusts long term aim is to re-open the tunnel as part of the Crab and Winkle Way for walking and cycling between Canterbury and Whitstable.  As a former railway it is the flattest and shortest route.  The much loved Crab and Winkle Way would be more accessible than ever and its position strengthened as a genuine and attractive alternative to driving for many local journeys.

Thank you to The Archbishop’s School for giving us access through their site.  Kent Bat Group for allowing us access to the tunnel, home to bats, that are a protected species.  Finally, thank you to Paul Roberts, Owner of the Tunnel and Patron of the Crab and Winkle Line Trust for restoration and preservation of the tunnel as well as opening it up for visits such as this.

£450 was raised on the day which will be divided between the Kent Bat Group, The Archbishops School and the Crab and Winkle line trust.