The Winchester

"Not all those who wander are lost" – Tolkien


with 4 comments

February 2011


Deep Ochre had been a target of mine for a while, although finding it seemed to consist of just looking for lids in a certain area. In all honesty, I didn’t know where I was meant to be looking or what I was going to find. A few hints had appeared on certain sites and by chance, I identified a lid that I thought would be it.

I arranged to meet Larey, but things went wrong and we didn’t meet until gone 11pm on a school night. A van had parked on the lid I wanted to use so I  took a little walk and boom! There was a pair of lids that sat right upon where I believed the junction of Heavy Mettle and Deep Ochre to be.

Heavy Mettle (left), Deep Ochre (Right)

The names might confuse the non-drainor types, but the reasoning is simple. If you find and explore the drain, you get to name it. Hence the list of babbling names that don’t seem to make sense. Usually the name has a reason, such as Stoops Limit, Crypt or Blood Creek, but sometimes there’s none. Heavy Mettle? Why?

Heavy Mettle is the Holloway Storm relief, running across North London. It intercepts with the North Eastern Storm Relief, known as Deep Ochre, which then runs down to the outfall at the Thames, crossing all 5 intercepting sewers. Known as being feature rich, it’s actually 4.5 miles of the sewer that these features are spread over, and allegedly the sewer contains many miles of boring pipe.


We dropped in the O RLY? Junction, known as such for the similarities it bears to the O RLY? Owl of internet fame. Myself and Larey spent maybe an hour in here before leaving and going home. School in the morning, you see. A week later, I dropped in with Neb, again at a later time having been occupied elsewhere that evening.

I feel that I should return and walk the lot, maybe in one go if we can. Sewers are slippery and hard to walk in, the topside walk always seems longer, and as such, a 9 mile hike would ensue if this was walked top to bottom. Not the mention the inevitable stops to take photographs!

Written by Winch

February 10th, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Posted in Drains

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4 Responses to 'O RLY?'

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  1. Nicely put mate. That b&w shot is superb, YA RLY!


    10 Feb 11 at 1:17 pm

  2. I still want to do the ‘across London’ drain charity walk. We can raise funds for kids with Cholera.


    10 Feb 11 at 8:43 pm

  3. Damn right, we should see how far we can go East-West or vice versa. Dressed as J-Bizzle.


    11 Feb 11 at 8:51 am

  4. Nice.

    I was thinking similar on the cross city trek, would go with West – East, going with the flow an’ all. 🙂 Would take a bit of planning and you’d have to get involved with interceptors to some degree. :O

    Heavy Mettle name came about due to the section from the O RLY junction heading downstream being mostly a relentless slog through knee deep sludge and silt.


    12 Feb 11 at 10:21 pm

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