The monument consists of a black Doric column on a round base, which bears the inscriptions. A bowl on the top of the column carries a small cylinder and a lighting ball.
In 1913 the first suggestion for the construction of a Mersey Tunnel was made, but it wasn't until 1921 that the project was accepted. After long discussions between engineers and among each of the municipalities involved, the statutory of the Mersey Tunnel Joint Committee was formed in the summer of 1924. Princess Mary started boring operations on December 16th 1925. The lighting columns were dominating the main entrances at Liverpool and Birkenhead. The latter still exists, unlike its counterpart on the other side of the Mersey. Both columns were supposed to serve as a landmark for approaching vehicles, to equip the site with sufficient lighting and to be 'a monumental expression of the greatness of the engineering feat of which they are the outward symbols.' Moreover, the columns originally combine the aesthetic and the functional moment.
The tunnel entrance at Birkenhead has been altered several times, and the column had been moved to a place not far from its former axial position. At its removed location the Birkenhead column merely serves as a memorial.
At the base, the column bears a bronze tablet commemorating the opening of the tunnel:
QUEENSWAY, OPENED BY HIS MAJESTY KING GEORGE V 18th JULY 1934, ACCOMPANIED BY HER MAJESTY QUEEN MARY, THE WORK ON THIS TUNNEL WAS COMMENCED ON 16th DECEMBER 1925 by HER ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCESS MARY VISCOUNTESS LASCELLES, who started the pneumatic boring drills at George's Dock, Liverpool, MCMXXXIV.
On two other plates the names of members and officers of the Mersey Joint Committee, the engineers, architect and valuer are noted. The fourth tablet is dedicated to the services of the principal contractors.
Related works : Works at the Liverpool entrance to Queensway.
PMSA recording information