The Secret Tunnels of South Heighton

The Western Adit Toilet/Wash Room.  Before & After 2000.

These pictures show the Adit Toilet as found in 1993, and after clean-up by the Friends of HMS Forward.

This small room offering toilet and washroom facilities provided the only 'in-house' ablutions facilities outside of the Operational Area. They comprised of two Elsan Chemical Toilet cubicles, and a 6ft (2 M) long custom-fabricated washing trough with two cold water taps. As there was no main drainage in the tunnel, beneath the trough were two adjacent 18 ins (45 cm) square pits connected below floor level capable of holding 25 gallons (112 litres) of 'grey water', one of these contained a wooden frame with a perforated zinc bottom for filtering-out solids. This is visible in the second picture. The toilets and the pits would have needed to be emptied manually at regular intervals.

The toilet cubicles were ventilated by means of the 4 ins (10 cm) diameter pipe visible in the breeze-block partition. It ran along the west adit from arch 80 (at high-level) to the west portal (at low level) at an inclination of 1-in-60, supported at every third arch, to discourage condensation retention.


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All illustrations and text on this site are 1941-2021 Geoffrey Ellis, or The Friends of HMS Forward, or Nick Catford.