Portreath Tunnel

The Portreath Tunnel, this is a series of photographs recently given to me by a friend. As far as we know there are no copyrights attached to these, originally sepia prints I have converted these to Black and White. They are a set taken whilst the tunnel was being driven as part of the “Redruth Joint Drainage Scheme” from the years 1929-31. The portal still drains from the cliffs below RAF Portreath, the pumping station is situated along Penberthy Road on the outskirts of the village.

Portreath Tunnel

A general view of the works for the tunnel, this is where the present day pumping station is situated. The house in the background remains to the present day, little changed.

Portreath Tunnel

Nothing would appear to be simple, this image shows a possible collapse of ground at the entrance.

Portreath Tunnel

The collapsed timbers are steadily being cleared away.

Portreath Tunnel

An image of the completed portal to the drainage tunnel which goes under the road. In the background is a small quarry which can still be seen along the Tramway.

Portreath Tunnel

Inside the workings this shows a group of visitors posing for the photograph, the tunnel appears to lead on in the background.

Portreath Tunnel

A group of underground workers in the same place in the tunnel. The compressed air drill is connected to the air compressor and ready to work. A carbide lantern is hanging from the roof, and several miners are holding similar lights. No helmets or safety gear, modern Health and Safety would never allow this to happen today. Thanks to the magic of Facebook one of the miners is Paul Rule, second from right.

Portreath Tunnel

A group of visitors including a small schoolboy stand infront of a small headframe and winding gear used on the project. This is taken on the cliffs and is probably directly above the Portreath Tunnel portal.

Portreath Tunnel

A closer image of the headframe with small temporary buildings in the background.

Portreath Tunnel

The same group of visitors standing as the Portreath Tunnel cliff portal, rails are in the floor of the tunnel to accommodate the wagons used to dump the waste.

Portreath Tunnel

A very wet group of visitors at the cliff portal, no safety gear is evident, different times.

Portreath Tunnel

A final image of the cliff portal looking out to sea, chain link fencing is the only barrier from the rough seas. The tram rails end here, it looks like the side tipping wagons dumped their load here into the water.

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