Year 5 Visit to The Victoria Tunnel

16th November 2017

Year 5 had a really fantastic trip to the Victoria Tunnel in Newcastle upon Tyne on 16th November. It was absolutely fascinating to find out how and why the tunnel was built and how it was used as an air raid shelter in World War Two. It was brought to life by two fabulous guides who told us all sorts of wonderful tales; a particular favourite being the gory story of a runaway coal wagon and Victorian gentlemen being crushed to death…! We were also privileged to spend some time with Basil, who had personal experience of using the air raid shelter in 1939. He taught us about pounds, shillings and pence; told us about rationing; prepared us with a gas mask drill and even produced his own Identity Card.  Genuine living history! Before we came home, we had time to follow ‘Lizzie Dowson’s Trail’ around Ouseburn, finding clues from the past in the buildings and along the river. (Who knew there was a footpath made from gravestones by the old Ouseburn School?) We even explored St Ann’s churchyard and made several interesting discoveries, not least that a man named Thomas Beanland Henzell is buried there! A jam-packed, fun-filled day of learning that has left us with lots of great memories!