The Winchester

"Not all those who wander are lost" – Tolkien

Captain Birdseye’s Flo Selecta

with 3 comments

November 2010

A social event took me to Lincolnshire, a detour took me to a frozen over carpark, where young men in souped up hatchbacks skidded around on the ice, perilously close to my own motor car. Beneath the car park flowed a drain, and as  I wandered across to the waterside, I got a few funny looks, which quickly subsided when the reckless teens collided with a bang.


The ice and snow had grown greater in depth and larger in quantity as I drove up the M1 – Derby looked and felt like Narnia. I was a little unsure of how snow affects the drains so a quick telephone call to Otter set me on the straight and narrow, and before too long I was squeezing myself into my waders and stamping my way across some thin ice at the edge of the infall.

Draining feels different when you’re squeezing through bars rather than dropping down lids. There’s a very different vibe to it, a more relaxed one, I think. None of the need for hi-vis, helmets or the pretence of legitimacy.

Captain Birdsye’s Flo Selecta is assumedly named on both the basis that fish swim through here in the summer, and that a short way down the tunnel there is a delicious split similar to that seen in The Fleet.


The tunnel was built in the late thirties as a response to the flooding of Derby in 1932, and as such, the styling of the tunnel is a mix of brickwork, reinforced with concrete in the lower sections. In 2001 Severn Trent Water rebuilt parts, and now two grotesque concrete infalls with rows of long bars were put in.


Infall 2

The tunnel itself is quite long. I was warned that it’s not hugely interesting, aside from the split, but chose to walk for 10 minutes or so to see what I could see. Ever-continuing tunnel appeared to be the only thing, so I cut loose and headed north to Lincoln.



Written by Winch

November 29th, 2010 at 9:34 am

Posted in Drains

3 Responses to 'Captain Birdseye’s Flo Selecta'

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  1. love this mate! 🙂 first pic is win! Bet that was a rather chilly explore 🙂


    29 Nov 10 at 11:18 am

  2. Yeh we allways say we should hit this bugger but theres allways somthing more urgent 🙁


    29 Nov 10 at 5:09 pm

  3. Nice one mate. Some lovely photos. Shame I couldn’t make the weekend, if you find yourself perilously far way from the south again give me a shout!


    30 Nov 10 at 5:23 pm

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