TWO WOMEN have returned to the railway tunnel they walked through 58 years ago as adventurous 12-year-olds.

Kathleen Leonard and Trudy Baxendale and four schoolmates emerged from the Queensbury Tunnel cold, wet and frightened in February 1960.

They found sanctuary at a house close to the northern entrance and soon police, their parents and a newspaper reporter arrived.

The friends, now Kathy Daveney and Trudy Bradburne, this month returned to the disused tunnel that formerly housed the railway track linking Keighley and Halifax.

During the emotional visit they recounted their experience for a second collection of filmed interviews - entitled ‘Reflections’ - which the Queensbury Tunnel Society has produced in its campaign to save the Victorian structure for future use as part of a cycle path network.

The tunnel lays on the same former railway line that has been turned into the Great Northern Trail connecting Cullingworth with Harecroft across the Hewenden Viaduct.

There was deep snow on the ground when the six girls left school at 3.30pm and headed to the tunnel.

Trudy had planned the trip and Kathleen borrowed her father’s torch, but the pair were unaware of what might lay ahead of them.

He said: “I don’t think we had any idea really, how bad it could be. My biggest memory is all the water coming down a big vent. We had to breathe in and go around it. I cried and they all took the mickey out of me because I wanted to go back all the time.”

Expecting the trip to last half-an-hour, it was well after 6pm when they finally emerged into the deep cutting close to the site of Queensbury’s former station. Darkness had fallen and the torch was no longer working.

The story appeared in the following day’s Halifax Courier and, after the police turned up, school was buzzing with news of their escapade.

“We were called to the Headmaster’s office,” recalls Trudy. “He was telling us off but he had a twinkle in his eye. He said ‘What were you thinking?’ I remember being asked that question by my parents when I got home. I didn’t know the answer then and I don’t know the answer now!”

Kathy and Trudy’s contribution will appear on Thursday, February 15, one of five videos being published during the week on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as the Queensbury Tunnel Society’s website.

The films cover broad themes - Cycling, Campaign, Engineering, Memories and Politics.

Queensbury Tunnel was built by the Great Northern Railway between 1874 and 1878 as part of the Halifax, Thornton and Keighley Railway.

Queensbury Tunnel would be the longest in the UK to host a shared path if the proposal to reopen it for such a purpose is successful.