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Soapy Joe's shaft | by phill.d
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Soapy Joe's shaft

Here's another curiosity to be found on the streets of Leeds! There are two of these air shafts to be found near the City centre. These vents are the only clue that a tunnel exists beneath our feet. This tunnel runs from a substation on Whitehall road (which was the site of the first power station to be built in Leeds)


You can plot the course of the tunnel by following the vents. The tunnel runs in a Northerly direction from Whitehall road, this first vent can be found on Northern street, the second can be found 218 yards away on Queen street . The trail goes cold after Queen street, there are no more visible clues above ground.


There is very little documented about these tunnels, but I would presume the tunnel connected to this old substation on the Headrow, it's 192 yards from the Queen street vent, and certainly in the right direction.


I wonder how many people walking past this curious piece of street furniture realise what it is? It's interesting to note the vent is still painted in 'Leeds Electric Department' colours. Today the sun shines, but this location would have been a very gloomy place in days gone by. Northern street ran through a dark tunnel under Central station until it was demolished in 1967.


© phill.d

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Taken on March 7, 2010