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22 May 2014: Thames Water Sewer Visit

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Our thanks to Christine Gunn and Thames Water for a fascinating visit inside Abbey Mills Pumping Station: a cathedral to public health. The building and the 1933 electric machines are listed. Despite the downpours, HCNW did go down one of Bazalgette's stormwater culverts. We were of course fully-kitted out with PPE by Thames Water and the tour is always heavily over-subscribed every year - we were fortunate to get these places, via our Chair's connections with Subterranea Britannica.


The pumping hall is a work of art, originally beam engines, modified to remote-drive electric pumps in the 1930s, and the alterations were very carefully integrated. Various stories explain why the the tall chimney was demolished in the 1940s - some because it was a wayfinder or because of concerns that if damaged it could demolish the pumping station.