“The executions of this gallery could be readily accomplished with the convict labour, the over-ground owner is willing to permit the driving of the gallery for a small consideration, and to give a permanent covenant in regard to it. Pending, however, the settlement of the larger matter of extension to the Submarine Mining Depot, as discussed below, the question of best access to the observing station must stand over”
Understanding what this writer was actually saying takes a lot of thinking as it is very easy to think you know what a person means, when in fact they mean something completely different!
It talks of an “existing footpath at high-water mark” and “to hew a gallery through the hard ash reef of the cliff”, and yet again, “ a safe line for the lead from the general firing batteries for the observer’s firing keys.”
The “existing footpath at high water mark” does suggest that it was possibly meaning the swimming pool area - and there was (and still is) a footpath going up the side of the hill from the swimming pool, complete with the small shed as far back as at least 1886... according to the photos. This then also suggests that the “hard ash reef of the cliff” may also be meaning this cliff face, although in all honesty, I do believe it was meaning the cliff face in Torpedo Bay.
There were other historical documents that I have read (can’t remember where now though) that talked of putting a tunnel through from Torpedo Bay up to North Head, and with all the research I have done to date, I have no reason to believe that this did not happen, in fact every reason to believe it did in fact happen!
If you have a closer look at this swimming pool area:
(I have ‘brightened’ the photo up a little to hopefully make it easier to see.)
Note the concrete structure continuing up towards where this entrance is located and what looks like a section branching underneath the building. You can tell it is a solid structure due to no light shown under it as you would expect if it was just boards spanning the distance. What this is for exactly is unknown, but by checking the ground levels comparing it to other photos I have, I can confirm that this definitely does head directly into where this entrance should be.
The cable (or pipe) shown here that goes up the cliff face as shown on the previous page appears to not be buried through this trench, but instead just slots in along side what I presume is a continuation of this concrete structure. Note how the ‘cable’ bends downwards at the outer edge of this trench.
With all this in mind, and after much thought of this, my conclusion is this short tunnel’s purpose was as a drainage/ventilation tunnel linking to the main tunnel complex- after all, tunnels do get water in them - especially with entrances exiting above ground with no shelter covering them, and so you would need large drainage provisions to get rid of the water. The last thing you want is to drown if there is a heavy down pour. This tunnel is too small to be able to stand up in, but if needed in an emergency it would surely be big enough. What better place to put a drainage tunnel exiting at a low point close to sea level (you wouldn’t want it below high-water level in an emergency) and have it multi-purpose to use for cable routing, or the like?
The calcium stains shown in this short tunnel speak to me of water being dammed up behind this section and slowly seeping through. I bet if someone ran a drill into it, there’d be a torrent of water come flooding out!
Finally, Harrysone, with all this in mind, in your expert opinion, are you suggesting that a camouflage expert (that was reported as specifically coming to NZ contracted for the job) who has unlimited resources and 2 ½ years to complete it, would not have been able to produce the results such as seen in the cliff face at Torpedo Bay?
I look forward to your reply.
NH Page 48