I walked south from North Woolwich under the Thames via the foot tunnel.

Unlike its neighbour in Greenwich, this foot tunnel takes you from one rough and un-celebrated place to another. It was designed to deliver dock workers from their homes in the south to their workplaces in the docks on the north banks. Those docks are long closed and the jobs no more. Woolwich on the south bank looks like it has not yet worked out its place in the new world. North Woolwich looks like a cold grey Beirut. Woolwich Arsenal moved away rom the area in the 1990’s taking more jobs and money. The tunnel remains but it has no tourists to entertain. A whiff of danger still exists here. Ghosts of old London gob-smacked that their world is no more.

The Woolwich Foot Tunnel was designed by Maurice Fitzmaurice and completed in 1912. He also designed the Rotherhithe Tunnel and, with Alexander Binnie (who designed the Greenwich Foot Tunnel) the Vauxhall Bridge. What talent then existed in the architectural division of the London County Council.

And on another note, I wonder how long it took his parents to come up with the name of Maurice……Fitzmaurice? Parents can be cruel.

The round red-brick building that marks the entry point to the Woolwich Foot Tunnel

The way in to the tunnel

The lift, looking like a cross between a cyberman and Dumbo the elephant


Keep left

Twisted tunnel

No cycling ^ Keep left v