At its core, the act of exploring a sewer, is a pretty disgusting affair. It comes with all the negative aspects you would expect from such an activity, faeces, urine, blood, tampons, grease, toilet roll, all the content you expel from your home or place of work on a daily basis, banishing them to a place where they are no longer your concern. What many fail to realise, or choose to simply ignore, is that several positives exist within a sewage system, be that of a historical, architectural or even photographic nature.
I know I said the last post would be the final nostalgic / retrospective story, but I lied. The overall plan to return to a normal service is still underway and whats been written for future updates does indeed reflect this, just think of this as a one time special to get some different content off my chest.
Although my adventures into London’s sprawling underground network are certainly over, i do still have fond memories and tales of previous exploits that have yet to be told. For a while I’ve been debating the pros and cons of publishing these stories, part of me wants to separate myself from them as far as humanly possible, while the other reminds me well, whats done is done.
There we were, quietly perched in a dark crawlspace, slithers of light sneaking in from the station below. Supported by thin pieces of wire and screws, the panel on which we stood was clearly not designed to support human weight, our every movement causing the flimsy metal to creak, stretch and bang, threatening to fall. Nevertheless we remained on the edge, our eyes transfixed on the station and stairs, listening for each and every sound no matter how insignificant. Impatience at this point was not an option, if our timing was wrong or we had miscalculated something the result would mean arrest, injury or worse.
Its fair to say that over the years myself and others have become slightly obsessed with the London Underground. It seemed that every time we ventured into the capital we descended into the dust and grime of its transit system. Siologen, a advocate of sewer exploration, given his 14 years experience, puts it into perspective when he said he felt he’d gotten carried away with ”ARTS”, Abandoned (Underground) Rapid Transit Stations, feeling he had “lost the way”. I’d have to agree.
For as long as I can remember explorers have joked, discussed and cried themselves to sleep over the possibility the Post Office Railway could be explored. Those keen to attempt entry desperately clawed at every scrap of information like a starving hobo snacking on bread crumbs. Just the idea of access, let alone the task of traversing the line seemed fraught with impossible obstacles and doubt.