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Report - Stoke drain

Discussion in 'UK Draining Forum' started by LittleMike, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. LittleMike

    LittleMike Do. Find. Drains.
    28DL Full Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Likes Received:
    This is my first report, so go easy on me :) Sorry about the terrible photos, my camera was pretty bad when I first got it 4 years ago, unfortunately it doesn't appear to have improved much with age.

    Up till now I had only done one drain up in York and it was quite small. I don't really want to think about how many hours I've spent wandering down river banks looking for outfalls, or how long I've spent on google earth, eyes pressed against the screen trying to examine every interesting bit of concrete! So when I finally stumbled across this reasonably sized outfall, for the next five minutes I could be found running around rather like a headless chicken :)

    Well the weather forecast for today looked pretty good so after a few painful days waiting I was finally off! I was pretty unprepared, so first I decided to infiltrate some live sites to warm up.

    First up was B&Q at festival park. This place is huge, but unfortunately I was in a bit of a hurry and didn't really have time to check it out properly. Access was pretty easy, only thing to look out for is that there are two sets of doors, one is for going in and the other is for leaving. Make sure you use the one marked "Entrance" as the automatic door marked "Exit" doesn't open from the outside. After a brief look round the gardening section and not finding anything of much interest, I resorted to asking a local employee where I could find some wellies. Much to my dismay he told me they didn't sell them and I was asked to leave. Well, I was pretty disappointed at being busted on my first site of the day, but I thought I'd try my luck and see if this guy new of any other places where I might find some drain friendly footwear. Much to my surprise he told me of a site just a few buildings away called Brantano, I decided to try my luck there!

    The Brantano store was much smaller than B&Q but amazingly almost as soon as I had entered I managed to find what I wanted. Pleased with my success I decided to visit one more site before heading underground, McDonalds. To be honist, I can't really recommend this place, it's pretty old and has a bad infestation of chavs. The toilets were also pretty smashed up.

    Ok enough of that dross, onto the drain :p
    Here's the outfall, found by google earth.

    Well the outfall is pretty uninspiring, and tbh it doesn't get much more exciting once inside. It starts off as a round metal pipe about 9-10ft in diameter (I'm pretty terrible at estimating sizes sorry!)

    Well the drain seemed to go on for quite a long time with absolutely nothing to see. The water was only 2-3 inches deep but very fast flowing causing it to nearly go over the top of my boots in the middle. In the end I resorted to straddling most of the flow which turned out to be rather uncomfortable in the long run. Haven't quite got this whole drain walking technique sorted yet :\
    Well I was quite enjoying strolling along minding my own business when I was nearly scared to death by a big *crunch*. I looked down and saw that the bottom of the pipe had rusted away in places and there were large 6" deep holes appearing everywhere. Great. Well eventually the pipe changed to a much more sensible rcp, which I found much easier to walk on.

    Just inside:

    Finally I came to a small chamber where a sewer passed overhead. Unfortunately my path was somewhat blocked by some sort of rope with god knows what dangling off it, I didn't stop to examine it in detail. It seemed pretty much impossible to go over so I reluctantly held my bag over my head and tried to squeeze through the 3ft gap beneath. Well I thought I was through and started to stand up when SPLAT, a rather large and soggy dangling "thing" hit me smack across the face. Well, I can honestly say I have never in my life been so glad to have had my mouth shut :) Thankfully I had learnt my lesson on the way back and made sure I wrapped some of the stuff round the rope first.

    Rope o' fun:

    The sewer ran overhead and into a small room, which appeared to have been bricked off recently. I stupidly decided I would squeeze through the small gap to see what was on the other side. As it happens, I just got completely covered in muck only to find there was nothing of interest at all. I was quite surprised to find that the sewer didn't smell anything like as bad as I was expecting, I decided to opt out of taking a dip anyway.

    Small gap to adjacent room:

    I continued on my way up the pipe, which had now shrunk to around 7', for what seemed like an eternity before eventually coming to another overflow chamber. Again, there wasn't really anything to see here, just another sewer flowing parallel to the path of the drain. Unfortunately here the water comes from a steep slope thus ending my journey. It looked pretty tight at the top of the slope, and I was beginning to get a bit bored of walking down a relatively uneventful rcp so I wasn't too upset about having to heading back.

    The slide:

    The walk in took about 1 hour but going back was a lot easier walking with the current so it only took about 30 mins.

    Well I know this is a fairly boring drain...ok, extremely boring, but it was only my second so I still had good fun on the way! Hope I didn't bore anyone with my rather long and uneventful writeup :)

    Very much looking forward to the next one!

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