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Newcastle’s Hidden Heritage

By Linda Tancs

At first blush, England’s northern city of Newcastle would owe its fame to the beer it sired. After all, its namesake brown ale was first produced at the Tyne Brewery in 1927. But in 2007 production was moved to Tadcaster in North Yorkshire by current owner Heineken, so that part of the city’s heritage is but a side note these days. There’s another part of its heritage that’s alive and well, though—albeit a bit hidden. That’s the Victoria Tunnel. Running beneath the city from the Town Moor down to the Tyne, it was built in 1842 to transport coal to riverside jetties for loading onto ships. In 1939, it was converted into an air-raid shelter to protect hundreds of Newcastle citizens during World War II. Part of the tunnel is open year round to the public for guided tours which must be booked in advance.

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