Queensway Mersey Tunnel souvenir album
Stewart Bale collection
Detail of photograph showing the first cars to enter the tunnel. Archive reference number 11256-12
The Queensway Mersey Tunnel, connecting Liverpool with Birkenhead, was a major engineering feat of its time and was the largest sub-aqueous tunnel then built. It was constructed 1925 - 1934 and the prestigious contract to photograph its progress was secured by the firm of Stewart Bale. As a result a unique record totalling almost 1,000 glass negatives has been created.
Stewart Bale also covered the tunnel opening ceremony on 18 July 1934, attended by King George V and Queen Mary. An album was made as a souvenir of the event, documenting the ceremony and the enormous crowds that it drew. The album, which is now part of the Stewart Bale collection at the Maritime Archives and Library, contains 23 images; the first 17 (pages 2 to 18) feature the ceremony at the Liverpool tunnel entrance, with the remaining 6 views (pages 19 to 24) covering the ceremony at the Birkenhead end after the tunnel drive-through by the royal party. There is also a title page listing the members of the Mersey Tunnel Joint Committee, the body with legal responsibility for overseeing the tunnel's construction. You can see each page from the album below.
The history of the tunnel
Follow these links to read a brief outline of the tunnel’s history.
Images of the tunnel's construction can also be found elsewhere on the website.
Pages from the album
Follow the links below to see each page from the album. Note the zoomify facility, available on a selection of the images, which can be used to view the scenes in more detail.