As part of their ongoing project about WWII, pupils from St Ethelbert’s Catholic Primary School were treated to an authentic wartime experience today as they visited the Ramsgate Tunnels.
A group of students, accompanied by school staff, were enthralled as the Tunnel’s guides showed them around.
Even the most clued-up of the visitors – they had clearly done their homework – were visibly taken aback at the sheer scale of the complex network of passageways and congregation areas as we made our way, 150ft underground, beneath the roads and places they knew so well above them.
The guides were extremely knowledgeable and clearly passionate about their work as they escorted us around. Each corner turned presented us with a different story of what life was like during the war for the thousands of people whose lives were, undoubtedly, saved by these tunnels.
The pupils were constantly asking questions of the staff around them and were genuinely fascinated by this secret world that has always existed beneath them. I really got the impression that they were completely immersed in the experience as they walked around listening intently to the guide’s tales from wartime Ramsgate.
As the tour ended, the pupils were allowed some free time to explore the artefacts and displays that adorn the vast entrance to the Tunnels. Their was a real air of excitement as they found they were able to use an authentic 1940s’ telephone to listen to different stories from the era, voiced by people who’d lived through it.
As I left, I couldn’t help but think of all the different stories my own Nan often shares (she’s 97 and still going strong) about what life was like when these Tunnels were being used. It’s hard to imagine nowadays, but these tunnels serve as a great reminder of the sacrifices made by others for the generations that followed.
I would like to thank St Ethelbert’s Catholic Primary School and the Tour Guides from Ramsgate Tunnels for allowing me to be part of this really great visit and I’m really looking forward to the ‘End of the War’ Street Party that the school are holding on Friday.
Please enjoy our gallery of the visit and feel free to share this article with anyone who may be interested.