Crossrail worker retires after five decades underground

Crossrail worker retires after five decades underground

Crossrail worker retires after five decades underground

First published in News News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , news editor

A 70-year-old Crossrail worker who has worked underground for five decades is set to retire.

Peter Bermingham, who was born in Croydon, began his career 50 years ago in 1964 when he worked on the construction of the Victoria line from Green Park to Oxford Circus.

Since then he has worked on more than 20 projects in and around London including the Jubilee Line Extension, the Olympic Park and the King’s Cross redevelopment.

Peter worked for almost five years on the Channel Tunnel, during which time he was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to tunnelling. He has also worked in Hong Kong, Australia, Fiji, Singapore and Copenhagen.

Peter is about to complete a record 10th tunnel underneath the River Thames as part of Crossrail.

The mile and a half long tunnel linking Plumstead with North Woolwich will significantly reduce journey times for people travelling to and from Woolwich and Abbey Wood in south-east London.

Mr Bermingham said: “When I started out tunnelling back in 1964, I never thought that I’d still be doing it 50 years later.

“It’s the camaraderie and the spirit among the lads that’s kept me in the industry for so long and I’ll miss it when I retire.

“Going under the Thames for the 10th time as part of Crossrail felt pretty special, in particular on a project that is going to have such a big impact on London.

“I’ve seen enormous changes. Back when I started out, we dug tunnels by hand using pneumatic spades and shovels, normally with a cloth cap or a handkerchief on our heads.

“Now we’re using ten million pound machines to build the tunnels beneath the streets of the city.”

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