I posted these photos before in 2002 when my brother was researching the local history on this tunnel. He promised to write the history of the Bourne tunnel and to add the photographs but because of other commitments has not yet completed it.
Fortunately I was reading a book today 'Industrail Railways of St Helens, Widnes and Warrington' by C.H.A.Townley and J.A.Peden' when I spotted a small snippet about the Bourne tunnel.
Ansdale Wood Colliery
"Ansdale Wood Colliery at Elton Head actually predated the construction of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. In 1824 the brothers John, James and Peter Bourne of Liveroool and Robert Robinson, coal proprietor of Sutton, obtained a lease of 20 acres from Bartholomew Bretherton. The lease included the right to contstruct a tramroad from Elton Head to the Prescot to Warrington Turnpike near Kendricks Cross. When the Liverpool and Manchester line was built, the tramroad was carried under the railway in a narrow tunnel at a skew angle.
Peter Bourne was a director of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway and sidings were laid from the main line to serve the colliery. Bournes and Robinson purchased the locomotive COLLIER from Bury in 1832 and this was used to work the firm's coal traffic to Liverpool. COLLIER was exchanged for a new locomotive from John Jones of the Viaduct Foundry, Newton-le-Willows, in 1836. Ansdale Wood Colliery closed before 1853 and does not appear in the Mines Lists for 1853/54. The only reference is in the Lists for 1867."
I was amazed when our Cliff took me to show me this tunnel. I had never heard of it! It was back-filled at this end of the tunnel when Lea-Green waste heaps were levelled out. Notice the modern repairs to the tunnel. (Lea Green end)
It was back-filled at this end of the tunnel when Lea-Green waste heaps were levelled out. Notice the modern repairs to the tunnel. (Lea Green end)