The Winchester

"Not all those who wander are lost" – Tolkien

Archive for the ‘Neb’ tag

Just One Pic – November 2010

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I went into the Westbourne with Neb. We walked up to the point The Westbourne (aka the Ranelagh Sewer) intersects the Middle Level No 1 Sewer, and then returned and walked through to where it meets the Tyburn. The Egg is the Storm relief for The Westbourne, and as such, the configuration is slightly irregular in order to ensure the water goes where it’s meant to.

Confusion

A relatively sweaty, sticky, misty hike, we stopped just once for a photograph, an opportunity to see the point The Egg and the Westbourne meet briefly so that The Westbourne can overflow into The Egg to store excess storm water. On the left is the point whereby the Westbourne can flow down into The Egg during heavy flow. As that tunnel running perpendicular to the shot continues, it becomes part of the Storm Relief, eventually flowing into the Low Level sewer at the outfall.  On the right of the image is the natural course of The Westbourne, leading south to the Tyburn.. Behind the camera is the rest of The Egg. This section of crossover has always confused, me, but I think I’ve got it now.. (If you know better, please correct me!)

Written by Winch

November 17th, 2010 at 8:07 pm

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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 Read the rest of this entry »

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October 30th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

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Cut and Cover #2 – Lords

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We hit Lords. As service ended on the Saturday night we found ourselves on the tracks just close to the abandoned station. This was unlike the other stations that I’ve visited, in that we didn’t enter into the station, we had to walk on the tracks to it. Thankfully not too far, but a new experience nonetheless. It gets the blood pumping, knowing a diesel works train could steam up behind you forcing a hasty walk into a jog or a run for sanctity.

Waiting game
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October 26th, 2010 at 9:37 am

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Labyrinth – October 2010

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Mr N was the only one able to participate in tonight’s activities, so the two of us headed down from Reading Town to London, and went promptly to the lid we’d identified at the weekend. After climbing into the bowels of the earth, we had a choice to either walk along the middle level sewer which was flooded with piss, pigs blood, fat from Chinese restaurants, shit, used tamps and johns and various old body parts. OR we could go deeper into the North Kensington Relief sewer, a deliciously slippery 5 foot tall barrel. We chose the latter.

Slippery Slidey Steps of Death (And fetid bloodrags) Read the rest of this entry »

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October 21st, 2010 at 11:05 am

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‘Here’s us doing it’ – August 2010

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‘Up the junction’

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”, said somebody wise once. Benjamin Franklin, to be precise. Although not explicity related to the practice of ‘going in the drains’, the theme still stands. Usual kit for these expeditions is: Waders, Torch, helmet, hi-viz jacket, drain keys, camera, tripod. Take away the waders, you get wet. Take away the torch, you can’t see. Take away the Hi-viz and helmet and you’re suspicious. Take away the drain key and you can’t get in. Take away the camera and you can’t take photos. Take away the tripod and you get wobbly ones.

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August 31st, 2010 at 12:53 pm

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The Runs – April-August 2010

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The sewers of London serve the city’s bowels; the nervous system is catered for by the miles of fibre optics found beneath the city in these tunnels and more. The lifeblood that keeps the city going is the cable runs, a network of subterrannean tunnels carrying gas and electrical supplies. Take any of these away and the city shuts down, just as the body does if you take away any of the functions giving life. Just as we rarely see inside the human body, we rarely see inside the city.


Map and Ladder

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Written by Winch

August 23rd, 2010 at 9:40 am

Posted in Infrastructure/construction

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The River Fleet – August 2010

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The River Fleet is the best known of  the ‘lost’ London rivers, being the one that was most central to the City of London. We’d dipped our feet in the waters of the Tyburn, Counters Creek and the Westbourne, but hadn’t really given much effort to The Fleet. I couldn’t say why. Danny had identified a set of lids which may have yielded, and the first we tried set us into the River. We headed downstream.

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August 17th, 2010 at 10:15 am

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The ‘Stinger – June 2010

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Elvis Presley’s ‘It’s now or never’ belted out from the car stereo as we roared down the A21 into Hastings, swigging cans of Monster in anticipation of the challenge ahead. A drive coming on three hours had seen us arrive at the entrance to the Hastings Storm Relief Sewer with local boys Patch and Davey greeting us at our arranged meeting point. Previous recce’s had resulted in the knowledge that an entrance chamber led down three sets of poo and condom encrusted ladders into a short infeed to the main tunnel, but time was needed to explore the main tunnel itself. That time was today.

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June 6th, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Posted in Drains,The Creme

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Quest for the Westbourne. May 2010

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Wednesday

Having got accustomed to the ways of the drains, we prepped for the Westbourne as best we thought possible, with a handful of maps printed from google. With a rough route highlighted along the roads the underground river allegedly followed, we trekked through Knightsbridge in our civvies, heading south towards Chelsea through mews and terraces.

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May 18th, 2010 at 4:36 pm

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Drainor MKII – May 2010

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Following our inaugaral trip to the Tyburn, we intended to revisit and photograph the sections we’d explored. Given the advice we’d recieved on these pages we decked ourselves our in hard hats and hi viz, and all 3 of us looked legit and proper as we went about our evening’s work this time.

The manhole we intended to use was now in the middle of some roadworks, and the next one down was locked. As we walked around the area looking for lids. (hint: there’s plenty, but just not the right ones), we could see the other one we had earmarked as potentially suitable was outside a busy street with bars and restaurants. Somebody was surrounded by papparazzi as we slowly drove past, but our cameras stayed firmly locked away, our sights set on a nice pooey drain instead.

We moved on to another lead, and this yielded. The lid popped with ease, the ladder went down and with the smell we knew we were definitely in a foul water drain.

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Written by Winch

May 6th, 2010 at 10:15 am

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