Underground World of The Village's Teenagers

Teenagers are putting their lives in danger by sneaking into underground bunkers.

Scores of young people in Bromley Cross are believed to have been congregating in tunnels beneath the village for years.

The labyrinth of tunnels and bunkers are a legacy of what was once the Eagley Mills factory air raid shelters during the Second World War.

Youth workers from Bolton Lads and Girls Club discovered the tunnels after being commissioned to carry out a project which involved getting to know the young people who hang about the streets of Bromley Cross, Sharples and Astley Bridge.

They had started to get to know some of the youngsters who meet at the shopping centre, but were baffled when the gangs kept mysteriously vanishing.

The Outreach team was shocked to discover some of the young people were spending so much time in the tunnels that they kept gas lamps and other belongings underground.

Mark Shields, Resource and Development Manager from the Lads' and Girls' Club, said: "The youth workers couldn't understand what was happening at first because the kids were disappearing into thin air."

An investigation by council workmen discovered a massive network of bunkers all over the village, but the tunnels are dangerous and could collapse. All the entrances will now be sealed.

Cllr Donald Carr said: "I was quite shocked when I found out about the tunnels. The kids have been using a ladder to get down there."
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