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1841: Celebrating the completion of Balcombe Tunnel

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

One of the Balcombe tunnel's portals

On the finishing of the Merstham and Balcombe tunnel, which we named as having taken place last week, the workmen, to the number of 100, paraded through the arches with lighted torches in their hands, and preceded by a band of music to celebrate this event. The day was concluded by a dinner at Cuckfield where about fifty sat down to a first-rate repast at the Talbot Inn, J Potter, Esq. in the chair, and the festivities were kept up till a late hour.

Mr Younge, the conjurer, who styles himself the 'Wizard of the North' has been performing his astonishing tricks hereto the great marvel and delight of the 'Alligators' and others connected with the railway works.

Sussex Advertiser, 15 March 1841.

See also:

Disaster averted in Balcombe Tunnel. BBC report 'Is London to Brighton's Balcombe rail tunnel safe?'

30 September 2013:

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

Two of my grandfathers x? were railway navvies building Balcombe tunnel, better money than a agricultural labourer, it took 8 years, lived in a shanty town on top of the tunnel. One married there into a family of former canal navvies, now grandmother x?.

Adrian Backshall it was in service by about 1840 when the service terminated at the end of the world, Wivelsfield Station to some or Worlds End to others. Then progressively built to Brighton, etc.

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