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Report - Paul's Pasta Steamer (Paul's Wharf Sewer), London 2014.

Discussion in 'UK Draining Forum' started by Ojay, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
    Staff Member Admin

    Nov 24, 2008
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    Paul's Pasta Steamer (Paul's Wharf Sewer), London

    First off thanks to JD for giving me a heads up on this one a couple of years ago now having ventured down here with Stoop

    Having walked the route above ground a couple of times, I was reluctant to push my luck solo on this one, add to that the shortage of breathers and manholes which was also a concern

    In the end, finding a suitable victim proved just as difficult, cue Adders :p:

    It goes without saying the place was pretty grim, I only managed a few pics and they are mostly crap because of the steamy conditions down there

    I guess packin' more glass than a leading glazing wholesaler was always going to present problems..

    The pics will have to do, I WON'T EVER be going back down, it was pretty grim and juggling 3-4ft pipes filled with stagnant water, stale turds and H2S to see the main spectacle wasn't my idea of fun!

    By the time we hit the streets we were both covered in that much filth it was an embarrassment, I tip my hat to Adders for enduring this shit fest

    I took the advice originally given and stayed away from the 'dodgy cover' and instead opted for the same convoluted trip up from the Fleet

    The journey begins in a less than 4ft side pipe from the Fleet mainline, as the original Ludgate Hill connection appears to have been severed by the tube at some point in the distant past

    50m of what I can only describe as scraping along on our knees was our first contender, luckily the flow was minimal and Adders wasn't too far behind

    A cheeky screen grab from Adders' video clip


    Respite came in the form of a slightly larger concrete diversion with a much newer drop shaft having been installed for access/inspection

    We parked our arses for a minute, at which point I noticed some rather fresh looking tyre tracks heading upstream, so much so the track marks on the upper invert looked no more than a few hours old


    You can just about make out the tunnel in the distance as it heads right, it was just around here it changed back to 3/4ft brick egg :(

    The pipe twisted slightly as we once again scraped our way through, this time a number of smaller connecting sewers join which just makes it all the more fun

    Eventually it straightened, with a short stretch of a taller brick construction allowing us to stand up for a quick rest


    *Note the smaller VC pipe in the foreground, I was just about to take another pic and it let rip, splashing it's load everywhere and resulted in me getting soaking No.1

    Off to the left (looking downstream) was a slightly bigger stepped brick pipe, this is a croucher for around 150m as it heads down Old Bailey and connects with the Ludgate Hill sewer


    Sadly I didn't get any pics here as we needed to move fast before the restaurants and bars closed up shop and started dumping their left-overs

    The flow was minimal and it was quite tall, yet narrow, around 160m and we landed underneath the West entrance of St. Paul's Cathedral

    This was it, the dreaded 'Rat Run' we had read about.. As the two 4ft pipes bear left and right and circle St. Paul's we already knew we needed to take the right-hand branch

    We both did a double take and looked at each other both lost for words momentarily

    I can't vouch for Adders at that point but as if the less than 4ft brick crawl pipe wasn't bad enough it was made worse by the fact it was rotten to the core

    With at least 6 inches of festering shyte and visible foul connections again, along with heaps of rotting food & stale turds and bog roll left stranded

    I'll be honest I wasn't keen and we debated fucking it off and finding the nearest lid out, which would have been another challenge had we accepted it

    I decided to head up 10m and see what the meter was saying, not a murmur despite the terrible smell

    Having walked it above ground it doesn't appear to be that much of a distance before it joins Paul's Wharf sewer, so we agreed I'd attempt to crawl/scrape through

    As I neared the first bend there were rats, and then more, they were running in all directions, frantically trying to escape the light

    The majority scurried off quick with a number of them running back at me which was far from ideal as there was barely room for myself

    More foul connections, the flow hampered by the amount of silt and food waste and turds backed up.. Rice, Pasta and rotting vegetables mixed with p00p certainly made for some kind of sick broth!

    Every now and then Adders called to see how I was getting on, I wasn't, progress was slow and H2S was now present

    I soldiered on, as if nothing else I was determined to find a lid out in case we decided to sack it

    Eventually I made it through and further round I could stand up in a shaft with a manky ladder, a good 20ft down was Paul's Wharf sewer, above at least another 15ft to a split lid in the road

    Having shouted back to Adders to crack on I descended the ladder into Paul's Wharf, which was a sizeable Oval/Egg affair

    I headed on down to a stepped section passing a number of side pipes along the way, and could hear the interceptor in the distance

    I'd left my gear upstream at this point and I decided I best head back and wait for him

    A while later he was descending the ladder, we unpacked our gear in a small recess to a laddered manhole and went about taking some pics

    As I headed down I noticed the first side pipe which was previously dry had started going some, conscious of the time and the source we proceeded with caution

    Sorry the pics are wank, it was just too slippery and steamy and I'd lost the will to live by this point

    Paul's Wharf Sewer constructed circa 1690/1700


    Stepped Tunnel


    Now this was the last pic I took


    As I went to set-up another shot the side pipe went mental, I quickly moved my camera out of the way as it got much worse and knocked me off my feet and into the sewer I went

    It was filled with cleaning materials and was far from a pleasant experience, having picked myself up the meter was indicating rapid levels of H2S

    I now noticed the other 2 side pipes further down started going mental, so I headed back upstream to Adders to inform him we probably need to get out at this point as it would probably get worse

    I wasn't wrong, as we were packing up the flow picked up further and it went from reasonably chilled to me being very anxious and keen to GTFO, which we promptly did!

    We exited via the nearest lid, it was far from ideal but no way was I repeating the journey back the way we came, flow or no flow

    Sadly pics of the section beneath the District & Circle line and the Low Level Interceptor No.1 as the sewer was diverted some 100m before the Thames I don't have

    Luckily Adders had the GoPro rolling for much of it, and looking forward to seeing that and his pics, as they surely can't be as piss poor as mine

    Thanks for looking :thumb

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  2. The Kwan

    The Kwan Easily Led
    Regular User

    Mar 28, 2011
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    Sounds sketchy as feck but the pictures are worth it, the stepped brick section and the egg section looks fantastic.
  3. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
    Regular User

    Mar 16, 2014
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    Sounds mental lol. Good effort.
  4. georgie

    georgie He Never Even Got There
    Regular User

    May 2, 2009
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    Well done fella good shots
  5. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
    Staff Member Admin

    Oct 17, 2005
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    Good explore :Not Worthy

    Why? :crazy
  6. paulpowers

    paulpowers Massive Member
    Regular User

    Jun 15, 2011
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    Not seen pics from here for a few years :D
  7. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    May 29, 2013
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    Bloody hell....mental mate....great shots tho' :thumb
  8. Session9

    Session9 A life backwards
    Regular User

    Feb 4, 2010
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    Great read mate, nice pics too despite the odds at times :thumb
  9. Adders

    Adders living in a cold world
    Regular User

    Feb 19, 2009
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    Don't know what you're chatting mate, I loved every second rolling around in that shit.

    I didn't really get any photos, I was having too much fun doing back stroke.
  10. Kaplan

    Kaplan Procrastinator
    Regular User

    Apr 9, 2011
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    More good stuff chaps, nice one. Always a good read :) :thumb

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Oct 19, 2013
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    Top work fellas :thumb

    And great pics & commentary :)
  12. TheVicar

    TheVicar Loyal to the Drain
    Regular User

    Sep 16, 2007
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    Great stuff but this one is not for me, I'm happy to see the photos! They came out well considering the conditions you were working with. :)
  13. Oort

    Oort The Spice Must Flow.
    Regular User

    Aug 26, 2014
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    Wow, just Wow! That's dedication and half.

    Good work, Men.
  14. Nickindroy

    Nickindroy A Porky Prime Cut
    Regular User

    Feb 20, 2012
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    Oh Aye! :thumb
  15. Wevsky

    Wevsky A Predisposed Tourist
    Regular User

    Jul 17, 2010
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    Mental sounding place to be visiting ,well dont not drowning in filth tho it did sounds sketchy as fuck
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