Queensway Mersey Tunnel construction, caulking cast iron lining with lead wire, 1930

Stewart Bale collection online exhibition

Archive reference 6788-122

construction worker pointing a nozzle attached to a long hose between two of the curved riveted metal sections lining an underground tunnel

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The Queensway Mersey Tunnel was constructed 1925-1934, at the end of which Stewart Bale’s photographic coverage totalled just under 1,000 glass plate negatives. Many of the negatives, such as this one, carry an inscribed caption describing the task being undertaken. The inscription on this image reads:

' - THE MERSEY TUNNEL. - 12th. March. 1930.
H.21. (Contact No. 2). Caulking C.I. Lining with Lead Wire.'

The tunnel is lined generally with cast iron segments, as shown here, which were bolted together to create a watertight support. All the joints were sealed with lead; the activity which has been recorded here.