Monday, 27 October 2014

River Fleet, London - October 2014 (Work in progress)

Still smarting from being called a wannabe. I decided it's time to do something epic. Prove myself to the hatorz. One day they will look up to me and shout 'Save us'... I'll look down and whisper 'No'. Gaj left a present last month that I claimed. I decided to put it to use for the River Fleet. One of London's secret rivers. One of its oldest sewers. 

Shit just got real.

Mock writing style aside, the Fleet is something that I've been meaning to do for some time, especially having worked just off Fleet Street for a few months last year knowing what was below. Having not done any drains before this was something quite new to me, and fortunately was quite enjoyable. I had a prior arrangement in the afternoon, but if you can't carry wadorz all over London then where can you? 

Thanks to adders for the trip. 

This will seem like a short blog, but it is very much a work in progress. 

The River Fleet is the largest of London's subterranean rivers and gives its name to Fleet Street, which runs from Ludgate Circus to Temple Bar at The Strand.

Its headwaters are two streams on Hampstead Heath, each of which was dammed into a series of ponds, the Hampstead Ponds and the Highgate Ponds, in the 18th century. At the southern edge of Hampstead Heath these descend underground as sewers and join in Camden Town. The waters flow 4 mi (6 km) from the ponds to the River Thames.

The tunnel is slippery, and initially I was cavorting like a break dancer, although not taking any falls, fortunately. It was a bit smelly at the start as various bits of excrement flowed past and joined the main sewer, but the smell died away. Fresh. 

In the photo above are the Farringdon Steps. I only had my 35mm with me, and getting photos down there was a tad awkward with the big bag, so this isn't the best representation of them. 

Once we past the split (to be documented in the future) the tide of pee and poo picked up, and soon we hit the outfall chamber. Here, again, my 35mm really doesn't do the place justice. 

Behind adders below you will find the River Thames. 

Thanks for reading, and adders again for the trip and beers on the way home. I will be back.


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