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1960's Tunnel Memories

A Memory of Birkenhead

I clearly remember these Land Rover "Tunnel Patrol" vehicles although I was only 7 in 1965.  I thought that they were real Police vehicles (were they labelled "Tunnel Police" I wonder?) and I remember being puzzled by the cream colour as ordinary Police vehicles were either all white or sky-blue with white doors. My family used to visit my grandmother (who lived in Tranmere) virtually every week and my Dad used to play a game on the way home with me and my mother when it was dark.  It was called "How Many Cars in the Tunnel Without Lights?".  Each of us had to guess a number for how many cars would be seen in the tunnel without any lights on, and the closest to the actual total, won.  You were supposed to leave your lights on (sidelights I recall) but many people turned their lights off as the interior of the tunnel was quite brightly lit. In those days the branch tunnels used to be "open" more often than not.  I also remember that there was a set of traffic lights (!) for one of the branch tunnels, but I can't remember which side of the river this was.  I had 3 older cousins who lived in Croydon.  They used to collect the Mersey Tunnel Tickets (which were about 4cm wide and 10cm long.  They were in 2 colours (I remember there being a kind of pink, a blue and a light green) and they had a broad central stripe with a different coloured edge.  They also had a corrugated effect on the edges where the ticket came out of the machine.  Quite why my cousins collected then, I never knew!

A memory shared by Brian Jones , on Dec 26th, 2006.

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