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Lost Tribes; The People's Memories.

Byline: Ken Rogers

I LOVE stories about possible buried treasure and secret tunnels.

Down the years, research around my Lost Tribe of Everton & Scottie Road book has thrown up many local myths and revelations, not least the fact that Prince Rupert of the Rhine and his Royalist army, having taken and plundered the town of Liverpool in 1644, buried their loot under what is now Everton Park.

Rupert, with more battles to win, had to move on quickly and folklore has it that he never returned to claim his loot which is still there to be found by a modern day Indiana Jones. I've got this mental picture of hundreds of you suddenly rushing into the shed to find your shovel.

My interest in all of this came to light this week when Kevin Roach, from the Liverpool Records office, unearthed a fascinating cutting from the Liverpool Daily Post & Echo files, circa December 1919. This was just after the First World War.

The headline declared: Secret Passage found under Everton Boys' Club. The story is worth giving in full: "A short time ago an underground passage leading from the basement of the new Red Triangle Boys' Club in Everton Road was discovered by Mr. Fowler, an official of the institution. The house is one of the oldest in the district. It appears that the existence of an underground passage had long been conjectured, and the supposed point of its beginning was known to the occupants of the house.

"Mr. Fowler decided to clear away the rubbish which had accumulated at that part of the basement, and he discovered a flight of well-cut steps leading to a dry, stone-flagged, and apparently hand cut tunnel. He believes it ran in the direction of Shaw Street, and he has walked a long distance, which he considers to have been a quarter of a mile.

"Among the older people in Everton, there is a tradition that a kind of smugglers' tunnel ran from Everton to the river side, via what is now St. John's Gardens. The only traces of such a passage actually discovered to date were found between the site of the old castle (now the Queen Victoria Monument) and the Pierhead. In addition, Mr. Fowler has been told that an old manuscript, purporting to contain the history of the house, was in the possession of a former official of the home. This manuscript stated that the tunnel under the Red Triangle had either been occupied by Prince Rupert, or connected with his occupancy of the building during the English Civil War.

"The door of the room had afterwards been walled up. It was said that a 'curse' would fall on anyone who broke into the room."

Now we really are talking Indiana Jones here. Of course, the original Everton Red Triangle was on the opposite side of the road to the current dilapidated Everton Road building, but what a story and one that I had never heard before. Is there anyone out there with any further details? Send your street memories to: Ken Rogers, Liverpool Echo, PO Box 48, Old Hall Street, L69 3EB.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 7, 2012
Words:522
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