WHAT fun to explore the network of tunnels under Wakefield that your correspondent (Wakefield Express, October 28) refers to!
Few people, if any, will know that one of the principal entrances to the underground system might have been at the bottom of the Westgate Brickworks quarry in Dewsbury Road.
Its facility could perhaps account for the presence at Wakefield Girls’ High School in the 1940s of two pupils who seemed neither to have scholarships there nor to be fee-paying. I wonder whether my hazy memory of their always having rather muddy shoes and purveying a somewhat musty odour is a trick of my imagination.
It has been said that the tunnels joined up with the one that brought prisoners from the old police station in Back Lane to the cells under the Court Room in the Town Hall and, always supposing this to have been the case, it is difficult to explain why the prisoners themselves did not escape via the network to Kirkgate Station and so away.
Of course, if they missed a turning in the dark, they could have come out under the Regal Cinema in Kirkgate where excavations in 1934 for an organ pit had been frustrated but which could possibly have left a route into the front stalls. It is rather jolly to think the occasional felon may have seen a film or two (free of charge) instead of facing the magistrates.
The Dewsbury Road quarry has now been filled in so the projected tour of the tunnels may be impossible today as I know of no other entrances.
Pinder’s Grove, Wakefield