The Secret Tunnels of South Heighton

The East Gallery.  Before & After 2000.

These pictures show the Eastern Gallery as found pictured in 1994, and after clean-up by the Friends of HMS Forward.

The northern end of the Eastern Gallery has not provided any real clues regarding the uses assigned to three rooms revealed by the evidence of three former breeze block partitions. The nearest office contains evidence of an 18 ins (45 cm) square breeze block tower in one corner that connected the under-floor ventilation distribution to the overhead trunking that ran the entire length of this gallery with branches into the WRNS Mess and the Teleprinter Room. (the SDO, and GPO VF Room were served from trunking in the Western Gallery).

The Eastern Gallery as found in 1993, and after clean-up in 2004.

The southern end of the Eastern Gallery had some mysterious white lines on the flagstones. They would have retained their mystery had it not been for a WRNS Telephone Switchboard Operator Pauline Tipler with a very retentive memory who described her daily descent down the stairs, through the airlock, turned right, went along the passageway past the Coder's Offices to her four-position switchboard right outside the Teleprinter Room. Sitting at Position 1, she could talk to anybody sat at the Dover Teleprinter just inside the Teleprinter Room! In a couple of sentences she revealed the reason for the white lines, and the position of the switchboards, none of which we could have guessed. Pauline drew a convincingly representative sketch as well. The information given was later corroborated by others.

A four-position PMBX1A similar to that used at HMS FORWARD


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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.