The tunnels

My dad worked at FJ in the 80s and 90s as an electronic/electrical engineer. I remember all the whirring, old school computers and the laser cutting machines. And the sweet James Bond style tunnel cut into the sandstone. Dave McDonald

All piece goods are warehoused in Warrnambool in material cellars that have been carved out of the natural sandstone which maintains a constant temperature and moisture which is ideal for fabric storage. 

"We dug the tunnels by hand - with a jackhammer and wheelbarrows to take away the rubble."  Gary Kelly

The big underground movement is still in progress.  If this sounds sinister, we're only talking about the excavation work going on under the Cutting Room.  Wally Ferguson and Trevor Walsh have now taken out 413 cubic years of sandstone.  They keep a running tally on the wall.  

As the hole under the factory becomes bigger and bigger, Richard Herlihy has been putting in new supports supplied by our Engineer to hold everything up.  

The excavations will hold two main areas: one to house approximately 7,000 ladies garments for John Stevenson's department and the other to give us extra space for material storage cellars.  Both areas are desparately needed.  

Altogether we will "win from the earth" an additional 1,800 sq feet of floor space and as they say in the classics, "and that ain't hay."



One of the tunnels leading to store rooms and the computer room under FJs at Pleasant Hill.  Photo:Tim Carlton
1971,Do You Know or FJ Daily Staff Bulletin telling of the excavation progress.
Button storage area under the factory.  Photo: shared by Tim Carlton
Exit tunnel carved in sandstone under the factory.  Photo: shared by Tim Carlton
Fabric Storage Fletcher Jones Pleasant Hill.  Photo: Jones Family Collection
Warrnambool's first computer room was housed in the 'bunker' in an area carved from the sandstone under the factory.  Photo: Jones Family Collection

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