First of all what an amazing name for a street! 😉
I could see it on Google Maps but all I could see in front of me was the huge Waterloo Station – I took a wander around to see if I could discover it but found all the other streets listed on the map but this one was eluding me.
I decided to take a taxi route right upto the station and noticed a small bit of graffiti on a wall and hoped it was leading me in the right direction. Continuing on led me to a really dodgy under-road subway totally covered in graffiti.
YES! Had I found the entrance to this amazing hidden gem!?
It turns out it was a tunnel beneath Waterloo Station and is a dead-end so essentially is now defunct apart from the odd garage near one end.
Some immigrants lurked at one end drinking bottles of cider but didnt seem threatening at all and seemed to enjoy directing cars back up the tunnel as it was a blocked end.
Some drivers would listen and take their advice whilst others made their journey all the way up only to find that they had an ever increasingly small area to turn around in.
Some of the more expensive vehicles managed to hit the sides and damage their cars in the process – that’ll teach em to not listen to the (helpful) drunk immigrants!
Moving inside the tunnel and every inch of brickwork is graced by a different artist in a different style and design. Some people just tagged their name in huge white chunky block letters, others stenciled film characters, whilst some were totally wildstyle but all had one thing in common – their amazing use of colour. They brightened up this dull, dank tunnel up so much and brought a vibrancy to the area.
Most of the graffiti here seemed to be an expression of their artistic ability but some used it more as a springboard to air more deeper views…some about chemical trails in the air, some about the Government and some about um… the stink !
And as much as one end of the tunnel began in London suburbia – the other end just blurred into normal London life the other. I wonder how many people pass this entrance and don’t even glimpse to see what this tunnel has to offer!
Nightmare on Leake Street? I think not – more like graffiti heaven! Well worth a visit if you are passing the area just remember to keep searching and you will eventually discover the delights this tunnel has!
PS Does anyone know the history behind this tunnel?
The full set can be viewed below or by pressing play on the slideslow :-