The inspiration for 'The Undergrounders' came partly from an article I read (by Lauren MacDougall, Kentlive, Oct 2017) about the discovery of miles of hidden tunnels beneath the Kent countryside.
Abandoned, fenced off and overgrown, many of the entrances are barely visible, and most of the tunnels have remained untouched since World War II when they were used as bomb shelters or secret military hideouts.
A further article, posted by The Independent in 2017, claimed that when a Primark in Thanet town centre began disappearing into a sink hole, engineers discovered the cause of the subsidence to be a network of tunnels buried 100 feet beneath the store.
The tunnels are thought to date back to 1939 and were used as bomb shelters during the war. However, when asked about their existence, the Ministry of Defence denied knowing anything about them. (creds: Ben Kentish)
How many more buried passageways lie just beneath our feet? What were they used for and who owns them now?
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Have you ever wondered what lies beneath the streets of London? Abandoned train lines, old sewers, forgotten waterways. There is a whole world of hidden infrastructure beneath many cities, and London is no different.
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One of the scenes in 'The Undergrounders' is set in a genuine abandoned underground station in Kensington. I got the inspiration for this scene after stumbling upon articles in the Telegraph, written by Ben Farmer (published August 2013) and by Matt Brown of The Londonist (2016), where they report on the sale of Brompton Road station by the Ministry of Defence.
Closed in 1934 and taken over by the War Office, it housed the 1st Anti-aircraft Division. The MoD claims that no one has been down into the depths of the dusty station for over 60 years!
Photo: Matt Brown at The Londonist
Many of these forgotten passageways hold mystery and intrigue for those who seek them out. Urban explorers across the UK make it their mission to find a way in, even when it appears that someone is trying to keep them out.
Some of the country's hidden hideouts have become well known meeting places for those seeking a spooky or thrilling adventure.
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