Tunnelling into the Catacoombs   17 comments

Battle of Waterloo 2015!



Never a dull moment in London! Strange things happen when Icewolves head out for a planned photo shoot involving the disused Eurostar terminal at London Waterloo railway station. Yes…well…strange location too perhaps but I like that sort of thing and besides which it would have made a great setting for a creepy, apocalyptic blog post!

Eurostar concourse silent and disused_google imagesEurostar trains_google images

Not too surprisingly it didn’t go quite to plan…it was locked off, boarded off, patrolled by railway security and the unavoidable presence of uniformed police officers and a whole bunch of CCTV cameras, making it just about impossible to sneak a way in without getting thoroughly and utterly arrested on the spot. And believe you me I gave it my very best shot! I really, really did want to have a look! So Plan A didn’t work…didn’t even get a photo or two of the odd glimpses I did get!

First morning after the terminal closed for good_© Copyright Martyn Davies and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence_http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/613020 link back to photo siteDisused_Waterloo_International_concourse_-_geograph.org.uk_Attribution_Stacy Harris_Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Attribution: Stacey Harris  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. / © Copyright Martyn Davies and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. Site link: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/613020


Around Waterloo Station_google images



However not to be deterred…onto Plan B! Plan B consisted loosely of “let’s try sneaking in unnoticed through the ‘back door!’ “ Essentially this meant a tour round the outside of the station and a hike up a busy London street to find a side-route into the back streets which led to the back side of the station and Eurostar Terminal…needless to say that didn’t get me anywhere either…

NOTE TO TRANSPORT FOR LONDONEurostar terminal before closure_google images

And if anyone from Trabsport for London/British Rail/Eurostar chances on this post by some remote and inexplicable chance…”It’s not fair!!! I only wanted to have a little look, take a few photos for my blog post and explore a unique and interestingly eerie environment to kick start my starved imagination into producing a zombie apocalypse type masterpiece to post on my blog!! Not a lot to ask was it? But you wouldn’t let me in! I think next time you should give me a guided tour! “








Mission very much not accomplished there was only one thing for a darkly disappointed Icewolf to do…go explore the disused tunnels! What I didn’t expect to find was “The Battle of Waterloo” well underway in “The Tunnel” – located in the disused Leake Road, road tunnel far, far below in the depths under Waterloo station this “designated legal graffiti area” has not been used as a road tunnel since the closure of the Eurostar terminal at Waterloo station in 2007.




One year later at The Cans Festival organised by famous street artist Banksy a murals and art exhibition was held in Leake Street tunnel leading to “The Tunnel” becoming a well-known “graffiti hotspot.” Well…not that well known! Wolfie knew nothing about it till now! But hey! What’s a little ignorance amongst friends? 😉




The battle of waterlooclip_image027

As the street artists at “The Battle of Waterloo 2015” show very clearly the Leake Street Tunnel has been very successful at maintaining its prestigious position as a graffiti hotspot.

clip_image033clip_image035  BATTLE OF WATERLOO/CHROME & BLACK

The Battle of Waterloo 2015 – biggest graffiti event of the summer, presented by “Chrome & Black.”

clip_image029 clip_image031

“Chrome & Black – London’s leading spray paint specialists – deep rooted history within the London Aerosol/Graffiti art world which is reflected in the art and clothing we stock, much of which will be exclusively solely to us. We also work with a large number of skilled artists some of who have had little or no exposure on the commercial scene.




“Up to 40 artists compete in the tunnel to win cash prize – paint, food, music and drinks – best paint jam in UK.” (www.chromeandblack.com)


Wolfie was delighted to discover in the course of the Icewolfie travels that there was even an underground Jamaican food stall available to supply the hungry masses…In the absence of a properly functioning photo album inserter – upside down photos are not the most inspiring sight! – these four images are the best that can be provided of this happy discovery…. the oddly flattened rectangular shape of them is not Icewolf, it is the dodgy blog editor!!!!




17 responses to “Tunnelling into the Catacoombs

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Wolfie…. Great post, with some really good pix. Serendipity is great, isn’t it? Finding the Tunnel certainly falls into that category, despite the fail at the EUstar station.. As to that, perhaps you could ‘ask’ them, nicely, in a letter, or a visit to one of their offices, if you could be escorted through to take some photos to be used in either an art project, or other school-ish concept/lie…. Sometimes, if you can find the right person, they’ll do it for good PR…

    Re: the photos; did you try converting them to another format, using another editor? That might work better, or fix the issue. Hard to tell how the WP editor is going to react sometimes… but, the pix are clear, if a bit surreal…which gives a taste of the ambiance of the Tunnel, I’d guess…



    • I’d been thinking about a bit of porky pie telling to the people in charge to try to wrangle a tour I must admit 😉 It must be possible because there are some great pics online by people who appear to have done so. Trouble is everything’s strictly copyrighted all rights reserved so I oil don’t risk using them in the post. They just wet my appetite to see for myself so I’m starting a who to contact hunt 🙂 The photo problem is plain old weird! I use the album creating tool no problem normally but it’s suddenly started acting up. Don’t think it’s the photo format – no past problems. Inserting a photo into the post is fine it’s just when it inserts them into an album they’re all upside down 😉 I think it’s an editor issue as it was also having issues with resizing photos yesterday. Hoped it was a one off but it was still doing upside r album pics today though resizing was okay. Might have to try a re install maybe. Seems to me it’s corrupted! As to surreal…lol the Tunnel WAS surreal 😉 I didn’t actually know what I was going into till I got there and when I did it was like walking in a strange dream! It was a world all of its own!

  2. Wolfie.. You deserve Big Hooooowwwwllls for this post.. 10 out of 10 for trying to gain entry. And having only travelled on the underground 4 times in my lifetime, I can see why a disused tunnel may be creepy.. Sorry you were not able to get your hackles raised to even sense its space..
    But the bonus has to be this Graffiti Art.. How very talented these young artists are… How wonderful are their creations.. And thank you for the time and effort and all the frustrations that went into bringing us this delightful post.. Hugs Sue xxx ❤

    • I’m not giving up Sue! lol 😉 There must be some way to get a tour and some photos of the Eurostar complex – I’ve seen photos others have taken but they’re all heavily copyrighted. And I don’t fancy getting sued from Europa to Pluto and back too much! The Tunnel harbouring the graffiti art was a world away from my original destination of modern but disused stations but ohhh soooo fascinating a world far beneath the station 🙂 I had no clue as to what it was till I padded my way in lol but it provided something quite unique and different for a blog post! In one if those pics there’s a guy on a sound system…I think they were more tunnels behind him by looks of things leading far beneath the stations into a labyrinth of an underworld. ..I am keen to explore further…If I can…and in relative safety. ..but that will be for a future blog post! Awesome experience and a a whole new perspective on street art! xx

  3. WOW! Amazing. Like something out of Neil Gamon or “As Above, So Below….”

  4. What amazing and colourful pieces of art you’ve discovered, Icewolf. There’s certainly a lot more going on underground than what we think about. And it would appear lots of people know about it looking at your photos. Jeep exploring, Icewolf… and I hope you manage to get your deserted station photos very soon!

    • It was all very unexpected not to mention smelly lol with all those spray vans in an enclosed tunnel! I did wonder what I was going into initially having seen a sign nearby relating to hire cars! The!artwork was very cool and the people much friendlier than appearances suggested 😉 A unique experience 🙂 The deserted station issue is calling for another attempt at sneaking in! But somehow I think I’d better stick with the authorised approach 🙂

  5. Thank you for the nice visit and comment. Greetings from Warsaw

  6. Spännande blogginlägg Wolfie Waterloo station den skulle jag vilja se
    Spännande bilder.. Tack för ett bra inlägg..
    Kram Nicki

  7. What an incredible adventure! Often wondered what it was like in there and how it would be to take one of those trains but never considered walking around the place and what that would be like. Now, I have a better idea. Great post. fabulous photos

    • It was certainly a fascinating day out! Great things happen when you don’t plan it and it was definitely an advanture! I’m on one week’s leave from Monday so I hope to adventure a little further in somehow…to the Eurostar station! 😉

  8. Alternative sites. When sneaking around large puplic spaces please try not to look like a potential terrorist. ( bulky back pack, hijab etc etc) . Have fun ! If you wish to buy one of these, please advise. http://www.derelictlondon.com/homes.html

    • Thanks Simon 🙂 Coming to realise alternative sites maybe a necessity as the naivity on my part of thinking I have any chance whatsoever of getting a tour of anything to do with railways in the current environment looking like a potential terrorist or not starts to hit home. I think possibly a large prominent DSLR camera and maybe a tripod might seem less terroristy than a hijab and bulky backpack pack etc lol though I might still get arrested given the current situation 😉 But I’m on leave next week so maybe combine photo shoot attempt no 2 with pre planned visit to Russian Tourist Office 🙂 BTW were you suggesting you could supply a hijab etc? lol ☺ I think I can live without one thanks!! Might want some help with buying house though!!! How much are you prepared to give me to buy one would be a good starting point!! 😉

  9. I’ll be working at Waterloo station this autumn and get to go behind the scenes in all sorts of unseen places in the depths. We’ve been recruiting casual staff to work in some of the stations recently.

    • Soooooooo jealous!!! I seem to remember you mentioning this at some point along the way… you lucky lady! lol Put in a good word for Wolfie will you?!! See if you can swing things my way and persuade someone to let me in for a photo shooting tour!!! I promise to behave and not be a badly behaved Wolfie! lol 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: