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Victorian Drainage Tunnels, London - June 2015

The_Raw

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I had my first look around some Victorian drains this week. Massive thanks to Adders for taking me, extreme_ironing, and a friend visiting from Germany to see these epic bits of infrastructure. I probably wouldn't have ventured down without his expertise and knowledge to be honest. I've also used his and Ojay's previous comprehensive reports as a reference for some factual information so cheers lads. Oh yeah, and thanks to everyone that came along for helping me light the place as my torch batteries were dead, I really need to learn from this as it's not the first time I've found myself underground trying to use my iPhone as a torch! Not Pro.

These were the cleaner bits of the network, manageable in just wellies although 'clean' probably isn't the best description. Having said that I was expecting the smell to be far worse than it was but it didnt bother me one little bit whilst down there. We visited 3 separate sections in one evening and saw some epic bits, it's amazing that these old tunnels have survived so long, are still being used today and for the foreseeable future. An amazing feat in engineering and construction.

Lucky Charms, officially known as Clapham storm relief, serves the Southern High Level No.1/Putney & Clapham extension & Balham Sewers. It was designed towards the end of the 19th century (approximately 1870s at a guess) by Joseph Bazalgette, the chief engineer of London's Metropolitan Board of Works. His major achievement was the creation (in response to the Great Stink of 1858) of a sewer network for central London which was instrumental in relieving the city from cholera epidemics, while beginning the cleansing of the River Thames.



An old worker's cart left behind since construction took place



Epic Engineering



South West Storm Relief, up to the River Effra. Part of the same network as Lucky Charms but further along



There were some nasty pieces of shit in the River Effra, and I'm not just referring to Adders :p



Our German friend with camera equipment way too expensive for places like this



I told Roxanne she didn't have to put on the red light but she insisted :rolleyes:



River Fleet Outfall Chamber, which deals with flows from the storm relief and the Fleet Mainline when at capacity. The Fleet storm relief was built in 1875 in order to give extra capacity to the Fleet Sewer



The Fleet Mainline, it was seriously hot and steamy in here for all the wrong reasons. This was the only pic that came out ok for that reason.



Abandoned machinery left to rust





Penstock mechanism for the chamber below that feeds into the Low Level 1 interceptor. These allow works to shutdown the flow to certain places using the giant flaps pictured below.



Apparently if you fell down here you would end up at Abbey Mills pumping station (albeit dead and smelling of shit).



The outfall chamber, this fills up with Thames sludge as the Fleet is tidal. A mix of sewage, mud, silt and whatever else, probably best not to know in fact.



Luckily it was only ankle deep when we were inside but it can rise up as high as the gantry in front of these flaps when at high tide.



These giant 4 flaps control the flow into the main outfall chamber, must've been a pretty amazing feat to get these lumps down here back in the day



Two small flaps behind here control the flow from the Fleet Storm Relief rejoining the Combined Sewer Overflow



These make the most amazing boom when you lift them and let them clang :D



Thanks for looking (y)


 
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skeleton key

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Nice shots there and a very cool but smelly location lol. :poo

Painted the place up good :D

Win Win (y)

:comp

 

-Raz-

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Cool report mate never get bored of seeing drains!

 
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OverArch

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Good stuff. The thought of going down drains doesn't really excite me, but you've got some good results there.

 

Lenston

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Pretty epic this mate, some great pics there and in good company :)

 

Maniac

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Very nice sir! :)

I saw a really tiny bit of some of the sewers in London the other week, they are pretty impressive. Me personally I'm not really a fan of going there, but I do like the pictures that come out of these places! :)

 
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The_Raw

The_Raw

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It honestly wasn't that bad in there, I'd recommend seeing these bits in particular as they're pretty dry in general

 

Lavino

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That's pootastic some great looking shots there and looks like you all had a good time.. :D

 

Wevsky

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lucky charms is epic as is the fleet mate..am just a little jelly as ive still not got me arse down here

 
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