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Helpers dig out other 'Mersey tunnels'.

YOUNG volunteers turned explorers when they helped clear out a tunnel created by the legendary Mole of Edge Hill.

Around 40 volunteers from Liverpool spent the weekend uncovering a section of tunnel in Edge Hill built by wealthy 19th-century philanthropist Joseph Williamson Joseph Williamson is the name of several people.
  • Joseph Williamson (politician) (1633-1710), an English politician
  • Joseph Williamson (tunnels) (1769-1840), a Liverpool tobacco magnate and tunneller

Williamson paid hundreds of Merseyside soldiers returning from the Napoleonic Wars Napoleonic Wars, 1803–15, the wars waged by or against France under Napoleon I. For a discussion of them see under Napoleon I.
Napoleonic Wars

(1799–1815) Series of wars that ranged France against shifting alliances of European powers.
 to build a seemingly pointless maze of tunnels as a way of keeping them employed.

The volunteers helped The Friends of Williamson's Tunnels The Williamson Tunnels in Edge Hill, Liverpool are a collection of apparently pointless tunnels built by local men employed by Joseph Williamson from the early 1800s to 1840.  map and dig a part of the tunnel system that had remained untouched since the 1800s.

A visitor centre with a restaurant and bar, plus a museum, is being developed at the main entrance of the tunnels in Smithdown Lane and is due to open in the summer.

Duncan Roberts was one of around 40 volunteers with youth development charity Raleigh International Raleigh International is a UK-based youth development organisation that aims to help people of all backgrounds and nationalities to discover their full potential.

This is primarily done through a 3 month expedition to a foreign country, with past countries including Chile,

The 20-year-old from Aigburth said: "I have been amazed by what I have seen.

"I wanted to help and see what was going on for myself.

"Don't get me wrong, I like staying in bed on a Saturday morning, but it's nice occasionally to change your routine and do something that is historically interesting and worthwhile."

Williamson Tunnels centre manager, Hilary Travis, explained:

"The project to open up the tunnels will bring back to Liverpool parts of its heritage and be a magnificent tourist attraction Noun 1. tourist attraction - a characteristic that attracts tourists
attractive feature, magnet, attractor, attracter, attraction - a characteristic that provides pleasure and attracts; "flowers are an attractor for bees"
. The big triple tunnel that cuts through the railway cutting is about 30 feet under the courtyard and an impressive feat of engineering.

"And the tunnels will create jobs again for tour guides, and restaurant and bar staff.

"We don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)

"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party.
 where all the tunnels lead - that's part of their excitement and appeal.

"But we wouldn't have got this far without the help of the Friends of Williamson group."
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 6, 2002
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