Travel back in time: 3 British Pathe News videos of first Dartford Tunnel being built in 1950s then used in 1963 - when there were NO QUEUES!

News Shopper: A car using the Dartford Tunnel in a British Pathe video dated 1963 A car using the Dartford Tunnel in a British Pathe video dated 1963

Grumbles about the queues and tolls are an everyday part of the Dartford Crossing experience for tens of thousands of motorists.

But there was a time half a century ago when travelling across the Thames between Kent and Essex by car or lorry was new and exciting - and when there were no delays!

These fascinating videos from the superb British Pathe archive will take you back to that time, and even beyond to when the crossing was still being built.

This first video dated 1957 shows the construction site on the Dartford side of the river, with VIPs going underground for an inauguration ceremony performed by George Nugent, joint parliamentary secretary to the minister of transport.

The next film from a year later shows men working on the first tunnel, with excavation taking place.

Finally, after some footage from the opening of a new 33-mile stretch of the M6 in Cheshire and Staffordshire, the entrance to the new Dartford Tunnel can be seen in 1963, with various shots of the toll gates and officers who will operate them.

A man in a car pays 2/6d at the toll gate, and then a car travels through the tunnel. Other than the cost, does it look familiar?

4 photos of floods in Beckenham area – taken 136 years apart

News Shopper:

2:17pm Wednesday 20th August 2014

Last month parts of Beckenham were flooded after some heavy rain – as shown in the main picture here.

A history of Orpington Hospital: Remembering its beginnings as a vital part of the First World War

News Shopper:

4:57pm Tuesday 29th July 2014

Visit Orpington Hospital today and it seems like any other. Patients sit waiting to be seen, nurses file hurriedly in and out. But while now it seems a relatively generic small-town facility, nestled on the edge of south-east London, its beginnings were far less humble.

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6:00am Tuesday 29th July 2014

Watch this raunchy video of a glamour girl from Lewisham being named the winner of a Miss Soho Sex Kitten contest.

VIDEO: See how Thamesmead looked like utopia when it was new in 1969

News Shopper:

12:18pm Monday 28th July 2014

This video provides a fascinating look at what Thamesmead was like when it was still fresh and new back in 1969.

12 historic photos from the sky show how Lewisham and Greenwich have changed

News Shopper:

7:00am Thursday 10th July 2014

These dozen historic pictures of Lewisham and Greenwich from the sky give a glimpse into how much the boroughs have changed over the years.


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