Saturday, 31 December 2011

A Small Matter of Sewage

Amongst all the revelry of Christmas, which mainly involves wondering what to say to break the awkward silences, I managed to scan a few more photos amongst which were these...

This is a sewage outfall pipe, running treated, but not quite pure, water directly into the sea at Lytham St Annes.

I have no idea whether this is still in use. In fact I suspect not given the current green agenda and our concern for the environment. But it may be. It may not still exist, because I haven't been to see it for years on years. The photos here were taken in 1983 and it's certainly not gushing out in these photos!

The sea perhaps has receded a little since it was built anyway.

There was one near the open air baths just south of Blackpool's South Pier I seem to remember. Visitors (which would include us when I was little) were often ignorant of the purpose or contents of these pipes and certainly I remember playing on them, under them and paddling in the pools near them as a child.

Some pipes ended in a rusty grill rather than with a downturn and children standing against the end would sometimes get a quick impromptu shower...

"Jimmy, don't drink that - you don't know where it's come from...

We don't know how lucky we are these days. My first house had an outside loo in a row of such that served the row of houses they belonged to. But at least it was a loo with a flush and took away the need for storing or moving...

My Great-Aunt had an outdoor privy which was at the bottom of the garden and inside the small shed was a smooth wooden seat with a hole directly over an open sewer - today you might call it a "stream" which was a frightening 40 feet below. As a small child with a small bum I was petrified of falling down that privy...

In rainy times streams took sewage down to the local river. In dry times it piled up. Farmers used their own muck to fertilise fields. I have a friend whose uncle used to do that.

Many towns had a stream known as the Shit Stream or Shit Creek.

Those who lived away from waterways had tubs that were emptied each night onto carts by the Council's nightsoil men. Can't you just see the queues for those jobs if they still existed? I suspect you always knew when one of them entered the pub... Progress.

1 comment:

  1. I remember the one at south pier, there was a little beach between the pier & the baths wall & the pipe was gushing out sewage lol


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