Tuesday, 27 October 2015

THE GREAT STINK ..... A LONDON TALE OF POO AND WEE !!!!! ..........


I have lived 20 to 30 minutes away from London all of my life and have visited many of the iconic buildings over the years but it always amazes me how many more places there are to visit and how I shall, more than likely, never see them all !!


Last week we went on The Great Stink Tour !! 


We started our tour at Clifford's Inn Passage. By the 19th Century, this lane was a dark and claustrophobic little haunt .....


..... exactly the sort of place where a Londoner, having made merry in the surrounding multitude of taverns and gin palaces, would drunkenly stagger for a pee. Back then, of course, London's sanitary arrangements left a lot to be desired and folk relieved themselves wherever they could !! The walls of these passageways were usually private property, the owners of which, did not take too kindly to having their cherished brickwork eroded away by copious amounts of steaming urine so, they bolted urine deflectors to the wall which deterred potential wee'er's, as the urine would end up on their feet and would also be directed into the gutter !


Through Clifford Passage and onto Fleet Street ..... number 17 being one of the few surviving buildings in the City of London dating from before The Great Fire of London of 1666. It's a good example of a house where the upper levels protrude over the pavement so that human waste thrown from the upper windows would hopefully miss the passers-by !!


We then got the boat to Greenwich, past the Cutty Sark where we picked up the coach to Crossness Pumping Station. 
Two hundred years ago, London was in a mess, with raw sewage flowing into the Thames and thousands dying of cholera. 
In 1858, the ' Great Stink ' from the river got so bad that Parliament had to close, making it imperative that something was done.
Enter Joseph Bazelgette who supervised the building of the great Victorian sewage network for London. All of the waste was sent to two pumping stations, one of which was Crossness. 


Hard hats had to be worn ..... that's me in mine !! 
The Victorians loved all of their buildings to be ornate, including their pumping stations .....



' VOILA ' 

It is SO beautiful !! ..... and it's just a pumping station !!


Some has been left as they found it .....





..... and some has been renovated. 
They built Crossness Pumping Station as a cathedral of industrialisation ..... ornate cast iron decoration around a central octagon.


There was a museum of toilet ephemera including all the different ways that people ' cleaned up ' after themselves before toilet paper arrived, including a communal sponge on a stick, left in vinegar until the next person needed it, oyster and mussel shells { the mind boggles !! } and rope !!
Thank goodness for soft toilet paper !!!!! 




image 1: via youtube, image 2: via goodreads, image 3: via huffington post, 
All other images via ME


Jackie









63 comments:

  1. Will wonders never cease? That is news to me. Have seen Roman toilets, but never knew how it was done in London. I cannot imagine tossing it out the windows.

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    1. I think that we are so lucky to live in this era, don't you Donna ? XXXX

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  2. Interesting way to solve a peeing issue landing the pee right back on you. As for the beauty in the ornate adorned buildings what amazement they created for such a station of stink.
    In history there has always been a primitive way of disposing of waste. And they use of clean up, Rope! That one has me baffled.

    Great history here, and would love to visit your amazing London. I have ex-In law family that live in the surrounding areas and a friend and her daughter just left there boarding the Queen Mary on their way home.

    Many beautiful traveling days ahead of you and the history you share.

    Xx
    Dore

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    1. Yes .... ROPE Dore !!!! I think that I'd rather have found a large leaf !!!! XXXX

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  3. Interesting post, but you know me Jackie I have to say that I like your hair most of all!

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    1. Thanks for making an old woman a little happier James !!!! Compliments are few and far between nowadays !!!!!! XXXX

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  4. Best to be touring this a century after it was, shall we say, in use. xxx

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    1. Exactly what I thought Pamela although I expect that future generations will be saying the same thing about the 21st Century !!!! XXXX

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  5. Hello Jackie: How utterly fascinating! I just read a book about a baby that was found in a NYC privy by a night soiler (someone who cleaned outhouses), so this topic has been on my mind lately, weirdly enough!
    I have also marked a book to-read that is about Paris and their Great Stink, but now I have to read about London's and Bazelgette.
    What a beautiful amazing building (and love the photo of you in the hard hat!)
    The vinegar sponge - yikes, I have to admit I gagged a bit. xox

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    1. Isn't it a beautiful building Carol ? The Victorians really left us a great legacy as far as buildings are concerned.
      .... and, yes, the communal sponge on a stick was a bit unsavoury, wasn't it ?!!!! XXXX

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  6. Our intrepid reporter flushes out yet another fascinating tale for our delectation.. :)

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    1. There is still a lot of the child in me Jessica ....... a mention of poo and wee always makes me laugh !!!!! XXXX

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  7. uh fascinating and informative and uh.... YUCK! gave me some images best left somewhere else lol

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    1. Yes Z .... pretty yuck !! London in Victorian times must have been very smelly ! XXXX

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  8. I learned a few years ago about how the invention of the tea room changed women's lives. They could leave the house and have a place to use the facilities. Previously, if they had to "go" when they left home, one option was to pay a man with a large coat to stand in front of them while they squatted out of sight as much as possible. The tea room did a great deal to liberate women. Some department stores, such as Selfridge's, also put in a ladies room.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Mustn't it have been embarrassing Janie ? I'm so pleased that I live in the here and now !! XXXX

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    2. I agree. Women could hardly move with all those clothes they had to wear.

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  9. Well who'd have thought it. We used to use newspaper at my grandma's to do the necessary that was when they ran out of Bronco (the slippy paper). Yes, I have to agree, thank goodness for soft toilet tissue.

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    1. I can remember torn up newspaper at my Grandparents house and, when we sometimes ran out of Bronco or Izal !!!!! I'm so pleased that we have moved on from those times Elaine !! XXXX

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  10. You look great !...love your hair .....intresting post...jackie....love from me happy week....love Ria x

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    1. Thanks Ria ....... happy week to you too. XXXX

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  11. Thanks yah untuk infonya, sangat bermanfaat dan juga berguna. Jangan lupa kunjungi balik blog aku yah.
    SUPLEMEN MATA GLAUKOMA
    SUPLEMEN HERBAL MATA SILINDER
    MENGOBATI GAGAL GINJAL TANPA CUCI DARAH

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    1. That's OK .... glad that you found it interesting. XXXX

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  12. I remember reading about some Greek island where the town residents painted pictures of St Anthony on their lower walls to stop local revellers peeing on their houses. It seems that St Anthony had that power upon the Greek people.

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    1. I didn't know that Cro ..... this is what I love about blogging. I seem to learn something everyday. Enjoy your bacon !! XXXX

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  13. There's nowhere quite like London...I've lived near London all my life too it's home but you've made me realise quite how much I don't know about the city...my Dad was a font of knowledge on London. The tour looks so interesting and there are so many of them to do; you can never tire of London, can you? Great post, thank you. xx
    catherinerobinsoncashmere.com/blog

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    1. Hi Catherine ..... I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE London ..... the best city in the world for me. There will always be somewhere or something that you haven't seen. Sorry that I haven't commented for a while ..... we've been out a lot lately !! Have a lovely week. XXXX

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  14. What a fascinating post. I saw a bit about the pumping station once on Who do you think you are. It is truly an incredible building. Thanks for sharing. X

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    1. That's interesting .... I didn't see that one. It really was worth seeing. XXXX

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  15. Replies
    1. Thanks Marina ..... it was well worth the visit. XXXX

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  16. If you were rich and lucky, you had servants who would carry the buckets down to the street and dump everything in the gutters.

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    1. That's very true but very few had that luxury !! XXXX

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  17. Fascinating and what a beautiful building too. So much architecture.
    Rope to wipe your a**, gosh, preferable to sponge on a stick in vinegar though!!
    Xx

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    1. I think that you're right ....... anything would be better than the communal sponge on a stick !!! XXXX

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  18. Great post Jackie. I love to see photos of London, even if the subject was a smelly one! :-) xx

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    1. I shall never get tired of London Deb ..... my favourite city. XXXX

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  19. Amazing! I love London, how could anyone ever be bored there? Whatever romantic notions we have of yesteryear the toilet arrangements sure left a lot to be desired! That pumping station is gorgeous though. And I love that old building in Fleet Street. Such a great post. x

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    1. I shall never tire of London LeeAnn and I go there a LOT !! One minute you feel as if you are living in Dickensian times and the next you're viewing London from The Shard ! XXXX

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  20. Terima kasih nih untuk infonya, jangan lupa juga mampir ke blog aku yah.
    OBAT ANTI MENOPAUSE DINI

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  21. hmm menarik juga nih infonya, di tunggu juga nih di blog aku, mampir yah.
    CARA MENYEMBUHKAN MATA MINUS TANPA OPERASI

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  22. Hello Jacqueline,
    We can trust you to get to the heart of the matter!!! Aren't you glad we live in the present time since we cleaned up our act? Oyster shells hmmmm (tmi or what)
    Love your hair and you look like you mean business in that image.

    Helenxx

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    1. I am so pleased that I live in the here and now Helen, although, I guess one lives in the present and if it was oyster shells then oyster shells it would have been !!!!! In a few hundred years time they will probably be grimacing at soft toilet paper !! XXXX

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  23. Oh my . . .
    You delight me with your news, history, words . . .
    The Pumping Station is beautiful . . . Intricate, ornate, design . . .
    (Fragrance thoughts . . . not so much!)

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    1. It is beautiful Lynne and it smelt very nice actually !!! ...... much nicer than the streets of London in Victorian times !! XXXX

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  24. Just admiring your hair, Jacqueline, with that lovely simple cut looking beautiful against your probably velvet jacket. You don't have a tip-top conditioner secret to tell us by any chance?

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    1. Hi Mise ..... well, thank you very much !! All that I can say is that I've used Aveda products for about 20 years. My hair is quite fine and it gets thinner as you get older so I think it's important to look after your hair { although, mine isn't that wonderful !! } I always use conditioner when I wash it { and I wash it nearly everyday as it's dead straight !! } and, I use Aveda leave-in conditioner too { I hate any products in my hair but this one is brilliant as it doesn't leave any horrible feeling of product in your hair. I promise that I haven't got shares in Aveda !! } Bet you wish that you hadn't asked now !!!! haha. XXXX

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    2. Thanks! I'm a daily hair-washer too and shall hasten to the Aveda shelf.

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  25. Wow, that pumping station does look spectacular Jackie! I will have to remember this tour when I am in London next. It sounds different (and fun)!

    Have a good weekend!

    Madelief xox

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    1. It's really beautiful Madelief ........ the Victorians loved to make everything ornate, even sewage works !!!! You would enjoy it ...... it was fun and a little different from the normal tours.
      Happy weekend to you to. XXXX

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  26. I am confused about my house renovation...? Any one suggest me what to do at start?
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  27. wow... I shall be keeping an eye out for urine deflectors now.... love a fascinating fact!!

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    1. I hadn't heard of urine deflectors before ....... we are never to old to learn !! XXXX

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  28. That's a pumping station??? That is too lovely.
    I learned so much in this post...first and foremost, not to pee on the walls!
    Such a great post Jackie!
    much love...

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  29. That's a pumping station??? That is too lovely.
    I learned so much in this post...first and foremost, not to pee on the walls!
    Such a great post Jackie!
    much love...

    ReplyDelete
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