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UK Markeaton Interceptor (Flo Selecta), Derby - July 2015

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“The area used to flood quite regularly until the corporation carried out work to improve the drainage system. The water used to come up through the drains after heavy rainfall as there was nowhere else for it to goâ€.

Markeaton Brook, which runs through the centre of Derby, has been the cause of many problems since the medieval ages. As early as 1610 it is recorded that the brook spilled over its banks, flooding a nearby gaol which killed three prisoners because the cells were located beneath street level. Floods continued to torment those living in Derby throughout the years, and St. Werburgh’s church is rumoured to have faced extensive damage in both the 18th and 19th centuries. A Great Flood of 1740 was perhaps the worst of all, however, since it caused great damage to many homes, as many rooms which were positioned on the ground floor were entirely submerged. A significant amount of cattle was also swept away from nearby pastures during this disaster.

More recently, in the early 1930s, Derby endured two more major floods which remain famous to this day since they each caused some substantial damage and disruption to the centre of the town. The first occurred in September, 1931, after many days of heavy rain. The full effect of the flooding led to many residents who lived alongside the Markeaton Brook being trapped inside their homes. Many shops were also damaged. Additionally, several allotments were ruined and what would have been the harvest was uprooted and swept through the main streets. The second flood hit the area in May, 1932; this was also known as the Great Flood of Derby. The damage to buildings throughout Derby was catastrophic. Alongside the effects of Markeaton Brook, it is thought that excessive rains from the hills around Kedleston and Mickleover also caused what was described as “an avalanche of water†to cascade throughout the town since it is located at the base of the neighbouring high ground. While a large culvert did exist, and had done for ninety years or so, the sheer volume of water was too great. By ten o’clock on May 22nd water had already breached the streets in low lying parts of Derby, to the extent that shops in the Cornmarket, St. James’s Street and St. Peter’s street were submerged half-way up to the windows. Describing the scene, one resident suggested that “the centre of town presented the appearance of a lake and the sight was unforgettableâ€.

In the aftermath of the 1932 Great flood, the Borough council launched an investigation to understand why the area was hit so badly. In response to the research that was carried out, two flood relief culverts were constructed. Further improvements were also implemented on Derby’s sewage system. The relief tunnels were officially opened in 1938, with the first draining excess flows from the Markeaton Brook and the second taking surplus water from Bramble Brook. Each brook has its own inlet spillway along with a weir that overflows during periods of high flows, and once inside the system the flows are taken eastwards for 2.2km, beneath the suburbs of Derby, to an outfall in Darley Park which links to the River Derwent. It is estimated, especially during the winter months, that the catchment can generate a flow of 50 cubic metres per second within thirteen hours of heavy rainfall. Since they were originally constructed, the culvert has been improved and upgraded to cope with expected deteriorated that has occurred over the years.

Our Version of Events

With the alarm set at 5.30am, we decided that we would aim to get an early night after a BBQ which was organised by KM_Punk. But, once the whisky came out, it was clear that the original plan wasn’t going to happen. After many burgers, sausages, a couple of cheese slices and a philosophical conversation, we made it to bed around 3.30am; those of us who didn’t pass out at least. Two hours later, with blurry vision and the taste of whisky still in our mouths, we rose – albeit very slowly – at 5.30. After a quick coffee though, we managed to grab our cameras and tripods, and a bucket for The Shepshed Diamondback, before we made our way to the car. Somehow we managed to endure the early morning ‘domestic’ which exploded in the back by cranking up the volume of some good old heavy metal tunes, and, as it turned out, the bucket wasn’t needed after all; so we could say that, in spite of the late night shenanigans which ended only a few hours earlier, the plan was coming together quite well.

We arrived at our destination in good time and it wasn’t long before we were climbing our way into Markeaton Interceptor. Due respect to The Shepshed Diamondback who managed to get this far whilst in such a state, but he wasn’t quite so lucky once inside the overflow culvert. Despite his tentative steps, the slimy slope claimed its first victim and he went down harder than a sack of potatoes while yelling something about saving his camera. Ultimately, all I heard was a very loud BOOM echo throughout the tunnel. The slippery tunnel would later claim more victims, but somewhat ironically, only those who were stone sober! (The Stranton Express for instance who, all of a sudden, sounded like a derailed train). On the whole, however, despite the slick surface in certain areas, the Markeaton Interceptor is a fantastic example of late Victorian architecture and the overflow culvert stands, rather proudly, as an example of something that was built to last. It is only while you are stood inside the tunnel that you can really comprehend the sheer size of the place, and the effort that must have gone into building such a structure.

Explored with KM_Punk, ACID-REFLUX, The (Still Pissed) Shepshed Diamondback, Miss Mayhem and Stranton.

The 1932 Flood.





























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Sweet write up :thumb i have the same problem with these early nights that turn into like 3am and a few too many beers... then have to drive for like 6 hours to like Portsmouth or something.

Looks a good old mooch does this, however i maybe investing in some crazy good grip shoes if its really that slippery lol.

I think 6 & 7 are my favourite photos

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Sweet write up :thumb i have the same problem with these early nights that turn into like 3am and a few too many beers... then have to drive for like 6 hours to like Portsmouth or something.

Looks a good old mooch does this, however i maybe investing in some crazy good grip shoes if its really that slippery lol.

I think 6 & 7 are my favourite photos

Haha. Far too many of my nights turn into these 3am ones :P

I didn't find it too slippery initially. It got more slippery as water was splashed about a bit (from people falling over and stumbling etc).

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Yeah that is lovely, great creative images, some cracking angles there! :thumb

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Nicely shot mate & nice report :thumb

Always nice to meet up matey and was fun while it lasted & i"ve still the damaged shoulder to prove lol.

Enjoyed this particular one quite a lot. Glad I managed not to have a tumble along with all the others who went down lol. I can imagine that it didn't do your shoulder any good like.

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