Day 7 of my posts counting down to the centenary of Maine Road’s opening game. Today it’s the story of the Platt Lane tunnel. Maine Road had four large corner tunnels, plus two in the Kippax and three (including the Players’ tunnel) in the Main Stand. The corner tunnels when built were all the same but the one in the Platt Lane/Main Stand corner was altered within 8 years of being built. Many people don’t realise this or know why, so here’s the story…
The tunnels were designed by architect Charles Swain to make access to and departure from the terracing easy after the problems Wembley experienced in its opening game. These huge tunnels became a feature of Maine Road for most of its existence but ground developments led to them all, apart from the Main Stand’s tunnels disappearing by the mid 1990s.
The first one to change was the Platt Lane/Main Stand corner tunnel.
In 1931 the club decided to enlarge Maine Road and they started with that corner. There was a demand for additional seating and so the club rebuilt the corner terracing. They built on top of what was already there by increasing the terracing rake to make it more appropriate for seating. They didn’t demolish the original corner, they built on top of it. This created a problem because the walls of the tunnel were now too low in parts, creating a potential safety issue. So the club raised and remodelled the tunnel walls a little. These are not great images but I hope they give you enough of a feel for how the tunnel was adapted.
The older image is during construction, with the other image showing the stand in 1981. That corner stand was extended a little on wooden steps, as was the rest of the stand when it was extended in 1935. The difference was that the rake of the terracing elsewhere in the stand was not changed.
If you’d like to read more on the history of Maine Road, take a look at Farewell To Maine Road, which can be downloaded from this page:
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