Stench pipe, Greenford Road

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Ten years ago today I created the 286th post for Greenford 365. To mark the blog’s anniversary I will attempt to post a photo every day throughout 2022.

Stench pipes, known popularly as “stink pipes”, were designed to release the gases and odours that build up in sewers at a height well away from sensitive urban noses. Part of the magnificent system built for the capital in the nineteenth century by Joseph Bazalgette, the chief engineer of London’s Metropolitan Board of Works, these tall pipes and manhole covers are the only evidence of the human and other waste flowing under the city’s streets. A remarkable feat of engineering that must have saved an untold number of lives, the most obvious effect was to remove the disgusting smell that made living there during the summer unbearable, so bad that it was referred to as “The Great Stink” in 1858.

This is one of three that I’ve come across in Greenford, the others are in Stanley Avenue and Uneeda Drive, but it stands out because it has been maintained and repainted in dark green, rather than allowing pale blue paint to flake off and letting rust damage it. At home in a hedge it is still doing the job it was made for at Adams Ltd., a foundry in York that was still operating in the 1990s in the same location as it was when this was made. This pipe probably dates from the late 1920s when Greenford Road was extended although many are far older.

Images and text ©Albertina McNeill 2022. Please do not reproduce without permission. All rights reserved. Do not add any of these images to Pinterest or similar sites as this will be regarded as a violation of copyright.

This entry was published on October 14, 2022 at 5:54 pm. It’s filed under Things and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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