The Beno You Tube channel is usually one that features lifts and rides on top of these as well as a good look at different types of lift systems, and also trains, metros and trams around the world. The person who runs it has increasingly been doing a wider range of Urbex stuff and several deep level tube shelters have featured on his channel. The most recent is Belsize Park which gives a somewhat different view of that location compared to what others including Secret Vault have shown. In fact its through Beno’s videos that I learnt some of these tube shelters have even deeper tunnels below the main tunnels! What’s fascinating about these is they’re not shown on any of the maps I’ve seen of the tube shelters! Not even in the books I have by Nigel Pennick who was an authority back in the 1980s on these underground warrens of London.
I have put Beno’s three deep level tube shelters visits here, you can watch them here or you can go to You Tube and watch them there, its of no importance to me one way or the other. We start with Belsize Park and work back chronologically in terms of when the videos were first launched.
Beno is a lift expert – he can get the knackered ones working! His videos invariably start with a ride on top of the lifts down into the deep level tube shelters. These alone are worth their merit because one gets to see the infrastructure used at the time and the shafts, even though they are smaller, are a sort of reminder of how those numerous lifts that once served the tube looked like! Not only that one gets to see how deep down the tube shelters are!
Belsize Park first broadcast May 2021.
Interestingly Belsize Park deep level tube shelter has a tunnel right below the others, its a small diameter tunnel but where it went they couldn’t find out as its flooded. However I presume its something similar to the one they discovered at Chancery Lane which too comes up in a different part of the system. Its possible these might have been a sort of escape route should any part of the deep level tube shelter be compromised for some reason. At the same time these tunnels seem so incomplete that, well they probably were drainage tunnels but that still doesn’t make much sense as each and every one of these tube shelters had a low level sump into which any water collected – and which was ultimately pumped up into the surface drainage system. Its a mystery!
One thing that I found interesting was the explorers managed to find the old entrances to/from the tube stations in question. These were bricked up of course where they met right up with the tube station, but at least one could see the old entrances complete with their lattice/scissor gateways still in situ.
Camden Deep Level Tube Shelter published 15 April 2021.
As at Belsize Park, the former access from Camden Town tube station to the deep level tube shelter was also looked at and the old lattice/scissor gateway was still in situ – even though the access beyond was also bricked up.
Chancery Lane published 17th December 2019.
Chancery Lane deep level tube shelter is an interesting one. Its often referred to as the Kingsway Telephone Exchange (and indeed there’s lots of redundant telephone equipment to be seen there.) However it was originally built as a deep level tube shelter and completed in July 1942, but it was massively upgraded in the 1950s, which is why a lot of things don’t look ‘London Underground’ at all. The lifts, most of the electrical equipment, etc is much newer. Parts of the tube shelter were rebuilt in the 1970s and 1980s. Its said that during the 1950s upgrade around 2000 workers were employed on the project that included tunnelled extensions from here as far as Westminster, which according to Nigel Pennick, went via Lincoln Inns Fields, Tavistock Street and Chandos Place before heading down Whitehall. The work undertaken was known as GPO Scheme no. 2147. The Kingsway Telephone Exchange was also known to its employees as TZK (Trunk Zone Exchange Kingsway) or LTK (London Trunk Kingsway)
There’s one aspect of Chancery Lane that few ever mention, I’m not sure if anyone knows of it however the tunnels here are built on a 1 in 60 gradient so it could be incorporated into the express tube system that was proposed before WWII.
Other links of interest: