The Winchester

"Not all those who wander are lost" – Tolkien

Mistaken Identity – October 2010

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This trip was sponsored by cans of the good stuff and giant orange sweets. We headed up out of London on the Friday evening, with a couple of culverts to check out in Birmingham. Through a prickly bush and into an open section close to the canal, we entered what was a pair of concrete box culverts with a thin layer of slime on the surface of them. Slipping and sliding along our way, these soon opened out to a junction containing a CSO overflow and the main flow of the culvert.

Parallel pipes

The CSO looked like it could lead somewhere interesting in it’s own right, but we didn’t try it, instead choosing to push on up the culvert until we could go no further. In the shot above, the pipe on the right is wider behind where the pic is taken, easily navigable. Around the corner was a bend and then an open section leading to a high arched brick section, again, very slippery. This soon reverted to a flat topped section, again opening out to an open S-shaped run, full of all manner of flora.

Midland brick

Again, the culvert opens out into the fresh air, and then the cover returns, leading to what we assumed is the drain known as Baptiser. I climbed down into Baptisers 6 foot wide and something high entrance, and as the water came within an inch of the top of my waders, felt that returning with the chest-highs would be a good idea. Baptiser is apparently named due to the fact you’ll get wet, or ‘baptised’ by going in it.

Baptisers Entrance

The end of this section was obvious, the two parallel sections dropping down to an unnavigable height. We turned around and headed back the way we came, after testing the waters of Baptiser and choosing not to proceed (LAME!)

The End

We walked back at a slow pace. Despite trying not to, we both went horizontal  on ocassions which hindered our progress. We also stopped at several open sections to shoot these, but without a great deal of success due to the difficulting of balancing the light temperatures.

Light colours

Once we’d arrived at the junction below, we chose to take the left, having come up the right side. This led us to an vaulted brick ceiling, and back again to the somewhat stagnant outfall into the canal through a section of RCP.

Final Junction

Having looked a little into what else there is down here, I feel that we’ve missed out a lot of what there is to see – a return trip to Birmingham will be neccesary to see Baptiser and Crystal Phallus, the two other sections of the culvert.

EDIT: I’ve just learned that this section is referred to as Mistaken Identity, ironic given that I mistook it’s identity. We apparently started on Baptiser as well, but I’m loathe to say we did Baptiser without actually going through the baptising bit. Another day, I think.

Written by Winch

October 30th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Posted in Drains

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4 Responses to 'Mistaken Identity – October 2010'

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  1. Good stuff Winch. Bring on more crates of the good stuff and even more giant orange sweets… Birmingham, watch your back! There’s a lot we seem to have missed, and need to return to complete…


    30 Oct 10 at 4:50 pm

  2. there is indeed more good stuff to see up this way, f only you had braved the baptiser. Much more to be seen on the other sde. Give us a shout when you come back up this way.


    30 Oct 10 at 5:13 pm

  3. Thanks mate, will do. I figured when we checked other reports that we’d missed a lot of it.


    30 Oct 10 at 6:46 pm

  4. Indeed Bubblehead is correct, Walking through it is pretty much make or break, I tip-toed and managed to avoid breaching but I think siolo got his legs full of water, a drainers baptism. Anyways; clean, nicely lit & clarified photos, sweet.


    9 Nov 10 at 8:58 pm

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