Victorian cattle tunnel in Portslade gets a makeover
Portslade is home to an old Victorian cattle tunnel, which was built in the 1840s underneath the railway to take cattle to the slaughterhouses situated in south Portslade.
In recent years the tunnel has been damaged by a fire, which left black soot everywhere, and vandalised, becoming a ‘no go’ area for the local residents, as reported by the council’s website.
Volunteers from the Friends of Vale Park decided to give the old tunnel a makeover and bring it to life again. To do so, they armed themselves with buckets and cleaning products and scrubbed the walls clean, ready to be redecorated.
The Victorian cattle tunnel under the railway line, just west of Portslade station, was on our radar as it’s an important route between the north side and the area around the park and Boundary Road shops. But the tunnel was dirty, graffitied and ill lit and many people had stopped using it.
Patricia Sauer, chair of the Friends of Vale Park
To bring the project to life, the volunteer group applied for a grant from Cif. The national cleaning company has been running a project called Hello Beautiful Neighbourhood Project, aiming to bring the beauty of neighbourhoods back and improve community’s lives. Semble.org, a UK-based platform that links communities and businesses for projects like this one, was also involved in the process.
HarpoArt is the street artist behind the colourful mural, which includes pictures of Highland cattle.
We applied to Cif for a grant and were delighted when the project was granted to us. We worked in collaboration with Cif and HarpoArt to totally transform the tunnel and restore it to its original beauty, and somewhere to be used and enjoyed by the local community.
The volunteers, ranging from children to older residents donned protective wear and scrubbed and scrubbed. Many told stories told of walking to school under the tunnel years ago. One lady had been unwell last year and felt proud to be on her feet doing this.
The cleaning took about three hours and it was followed by the redecoration of the tunnel. The Cattle Arch officially reopened last Saturday (27 July 2019) in the presence of Deputy Mayor and Portslade Councillor Alan Robins, Cif representatives Bridget McBride and Lucy Donovan, Nick Gardner, Semble and members of The Friends of Vale Park.
Cif prides itself in its ability to clean tough surfaces and help restore them to their original beauty, creating a positive impact on the people around them. This is exactly what happened with the transformation of the Portslade Cattle Arch. To work alongside the community to restore the tunnel and create something beautiful is everything we stand for as a brand and we are delighted to have created a lasting change for the Portslade community.
Gemma Cleland, Vice President, Homecare, Unilever UK & Ireland
Pictures © Brighton & Hove Council