50 Years Of The Dartford Tunnel
As the tunnel linking Essex with Kent celebrates its fiftieth birthday, we look back at how it came about.
1. 50 Years Of The Dartford Tunnel
The idea of a tunnel linking Essex with Kent was first mooted in 1929. A pilot tunnel was constructed by 1938 - here Leslie Burgin, Minister of Transport, is seen inspecting it. The outbreak of World War 2 forced plans for the proper tunnel to be postponed and it was't until 1963 that the Dartford-Thurrock tunnel finally opened to traffic.
2. 50 Years Of The Dartford Tunnel
The day before it opened to traffic, the completed interior of the new tunnel.
3. 50 Years Of The Dartford Tunnel
A view of the toll gate area and approaches at Dartford ahead of the opening of the Thames Tunnel in November 1963.
4. 50 Years Of The Dartford Tunnel
A car draws up at one of the new toll gate booths near the mouth of the new Thames Tunnel at Dartford, Kent.
5. 50 Years Of The Dartford Tunnel
Nine year old Glen Martin officially opening the second Dartford Tunnel - which links Kent with Essex under the Thames - by cutting a ribbon. With him are R.G.R Daniels (left), chairman of the Dartford Tunnel Joint Committee, and the committee vice chairman, Mr M.H Pym. Glen's opportunity came after he wrote to Mr Daniels saying that his brother opened a flyover, so could he open a tunnel.
6. 50 Years Of The Dartford Tunnel
Nine year old Glen Martin proudly showing a souvenir piece of 'opening ribbon' after he officially opened the tunnel.
7. 50 Years Of The Dartford Tunnel
Just a year after the tunnel opened for traffic, there were already long lines of traffic. A second tunnel was constructed and opened in 1980, and eleven years later the tunnels were joined by the The QE2 Bridge.