The Tunnel, linking Water Street with Market Street

Nowadays, nearly every big bank has a cash dispenser in a ‘hole in the wall’. Where the Midland Bank on Market Street now stands, there used to be a hole in the wall big enough to walk through. We called it The Tunnel and they bricked it up one dark day in the early seventies.

Back in the days when the biggest danger to children walking home from school was the traffic, we’d take a short cut: from The Mount, across Water Street, through The Tunnel and out into Market Street.

There’d always been a public right of way along that route, although it must have been granted grudgingly in the first place. Grudgingly? Well, today, the only reminder of this bit of old Abergele is a battered stone pillar – near the Manchester Batteries depot entrance to Water Street – claiming that the right of way was conceded …


Inside The Tunnel was a mini-market: a sweet shop, a hardware shop, a butcher’s and a pet shop that made the whole Tunnel smell like a musty mouse cage.

There used to be a cinema in the old Town Hall building, where Carr’s Insurance is now. I remember Mum taking us to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Thunderbirds Are Go and the original Batman movie, starring Adam West.

On our way home from school, we’d cross the road from the Mount and into the dark Tunnel. As we emerged into the daylight of Market Street, we’d rub our eyes and gaze at the film posters outside the cinema. Carry On films were really popular then. The posters beckoned but we were too young. Carry Ons were AA certificate and we could only imagine what sort of saucy stuff would be in those.

The tunnel ran through the old Market Hall. It's blocked up now.
The tunnel ran through the old Market Hall. It's blocked up now.

6 thoughts on “The Tunnel, linking Water Street with Market Street

  1. Huw:

    Apparently HSBC took over the tunnel but had no right to do so. I remember in my childhood (around 5 years old), the bank had a back door which you could come in and out, but the arcade had long gone.

    If somebody challenges this, we may see the arcade again!

  2. Market Hall |

    […] Water StreetEllesmeres ironmongers, Chapel StreetThe Playnies – High Street playing fieldsThe Tunnel, linking Water Street with Market StreetBee Filling Station, Market StreetGele River and Tower Hill, AbergeleLog cabin between Bryn Twr and […]

  3. lyn williams:

    I think I may have the head of the builder of market hall (in stone !) any one interested ??

    1. David Hughes:

      Hello Lyn, I know it sounds crazy but I’ve just seen your comment. I am very interested in the head that you have. If you read this message please comment back. Thank you.

  4. Mike Humphreys:

    Nothing stays the same and this fine article to a 2018 Abergelian looking for the sites of the Midland Bank, Carr’s Insurance and Manchester Batteries would have a hard time. They have all gone. The HSBC which was the Midland Bank has now gone from the town along with Nat West and Barclays. If the hue and cry from Abergelian’s about closing the Post Office in Market Street had not occurred the last old continuous used Abergele building would have also disappeared from the town centre.

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