The Victoria Tunnel is a preserved underground wagonway which was constructed in the 19th-century to support the local coal-mining trade. Almost 100 years later, it was converted into a life-saving air-raid shelter during the Second World War. Today, the Tunnel serves as a fantastic visitor attraction and educational tool for all ages, even being recognised with the Sandford Award in 2018. 

What is the Virtual Victoria Tunnel Experience for Schools?

For many years, we've welcomed groups of KS2 students to the Victoria Tunnel to help them develop their knowledge of World War Two by providing a uniquely local context. During much of 2020 we were unable to host school visits. However, with the help of a grant from Historic England, the Ouseburn Trust has developed the Virtual Victoria Tunnel Experience which we have also adapted to create an engaging classroom experience. 

This is a live online event broadcast directly into individual classrooms. It blends video content, illustrated presentations and an interactive Q&A session which is delivered by Victoria Tunnel’s award-winning Guides. Pupils can now go on a subterranean adventure without ever having to leave their classroom! 

The Virtual Victoria Tunnel Experience for Schools lasts roughly onehour and costs £50 per class.  

For more information email and to book, email [email protected] 

Don't change a thing! It was absolutely fantastic! 

Teacher feedback, November 2020

Essential information

This experience is made up of two parts:

PART ONE A 30-minute film showing the inside of the Victoria Tunnel and some highlights from an in-person classroom session with Basil, Victoria Tunnel’s oldest Tour Guide and previous user of the air-raid shelter. The video link will be sent in advance of the event – you can choose to watch this immediately before part two or in advance.

PART TWO A live, interactive Q&A session with Victoria Tunnel Guides Warden via Zoom*

Each child will have access to their own workbook (sent in advance for printing at school). There’s a section to complete during the interactive sessions and the rest of the booklet has activities that can be completed after the event.

*This Q&A lasts 30-45 minutes. The children should be able to see a projector which will display Zoom. A laptop/webcam should be pointing at the children so that the host and Tour Guides can see the children while they speak to them.

Guides will ask multiple-choice questions and children will be asked to raise their hands when they think the correct answer is being read aloud.

Technical info

We host the interactive element via Zoom as we understand this is a system many schools have adopted. If you’re unable to use Zoom or point a camera at the class, we can explore an alternative system. Please contact us for more information. The video link is accessed via YouTube.