Subterranean Christmas Tree

Have you heard about London’s underworld? I’m not talking about the seamy, corrupt place of black market transactions, but rather an actual underworld built during the Blitz.

There are pensioners living in London who can recall long, uncomfortable nights during the Blitz, huddling in the Underground as bombs rained down their homes. With thousands crammed together in confined spaces, you could meet all sorts of people but you never saw a spook from the Interservices Research Bureau, a branch of MI6, or from other government agencies such as the Port of London Authority or the Ministry of Works engineering unit. They had somewhere better to hide.

There was a secret lift behind an unmarked door near 33 High Holborn, where the Daily Mirror used to have its head office. Even Fleet Street’s finest did not know who used it, or where it led. n fact, it took selected officials to the safety of two secret tunnels, deep below London.

[. . .]

Officially, they did not exist.


image from The Independent: UK

So cool. It’s like when I found out about Cheyenne Mountain and Mesa Verde. In fact, when given the choice to see Mesa Verde or Disneyland as a 11 year-old, Mesa Verde was my pick. Places like this have always been magical to me.

What is additionally interesting about the recent revelation concerning these tunnels’ existence was the experience of journalist Duncan Campbell. As noted, these tunnels simply “did not exist,” but we learn (same citation as above) about Campbell that

He had an obsession about government secrecy. He phoned BT security one Christmas and told them “if you go down [to the tunnels], you will find a Christmas tree.” He had planted it. They still don’t know how he got down there.

As much as the government insisted these tunnels did not exist and tried to stymie the information of their existence to the public, the human desire to know could not be quenched. It was just another example of how a movement, even if just a movement of one, is near impossible to stop.


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