It began with a very small team of brave volunteers moving 72 full size railway sleepers into Fan Bay, it progressed with a volunteer family for digging, bagging or shifting materials and concluded with professional mine engineers going above their line of duties to complete and secure Fan Bay Deep Shelter and the above chalk coastline for future generations.
Conservation work in the unlined seaward tunnel has now been completed in just one week. Almost all the supporting wood work has now been replaced in this section as the original materials are sadly no longer structurally sound. It almost matches what was originally there, although in the process of conserving the chalk lining and original woodwork, a big bit of the ceiling came down!
The previously well known collapse has also now been dug out and removed from the tunnel surface so you can walk all the way to the backfilling wall with the round hole and humorous but crude war graffiti.
This work was essential to the project as the clear passageway will provide safe and appropriate access for future works to establish connection with the buried sound mirror in Fan Hole and for the first time in over 40 years will be explorable by the public from 2015.
Thank you very much to everyone who was able to come along to support the project during the works. It has been a hard week but we have got a huge amount done. We couldn’t do it without everyone’s help and dedication.
The mine engineers have now completed the important structural works in the corner landings of the staircase tunnels. This included replacing the long rotten and disintegrated wooden beams that would have originally supported the unlined ceiling above. These areas are currently very wet following the recent weather, which is intriguing as generally it has been very dry throughout Fan Bay.
It is however no surprise that nothing had survived of the original supporting beams in these areas considering they had been subjected to 70 years of moisture exposure and the lined tunnel ceilings provide a channelled aqueduct for rain entering the main entrance or passing through the chalk above.
More photos of the recent works will be posted in due course when available.