please empty your brain below

I’m amazed that you hadn’t covered Crossness in this blog, before, dg! Truly one of the most magnificent sites in London.

dg writes: "I last came to look round in 2005."

Top tip for a nice day out: Crossness is on the Thames Path and a lovely cycle from Woolwich.
Crossness is one of those places I keep meaning to visit but never do.

On a sewer-related note, the Brighton Sewer Tours have now permanently closed. A curt note on the page states:
"We're sorry but we no longer offer tours of Brighton's Victorian sewers"

That's a pity as they always seemed to be fully booked. Luckilly I went on a visit last year.
Trump on Monday, moving effluent on Tuesday.
Is there a common theme emerging this week?
Oh, but you *can* go down an actual sewer if you know the right people. Bazalgette's wonderful sewers are ideal as a set of handy ducts for optical fibre telecoms cable, stretching right across London including the City and West End where digging is expensive.

A few years ago a company called Geo Networks -- now owned by US company Zayo -- acquired the rights from Thames Water and they invited me, as a telecoms journalist, to have a look. I cycled along the canal to north-east London -- a northern equivalent of Crossness -- and spent a happy hour or so wading in it all, along with a number of customers.

Another company, owned by the energy company SSE, also has fibre down there.
Somewhere I've always wanted to visit, but your blog is the next best thing.

"The Crossness Engines" would be a good title for Dr Who episode about machines that makes people angry.
There's the old joke, told to us on a visit, that whilst Sir Joseph did his best to rid London of effluent, his great-great grandson, Peter strived to do the opposite by being the Creative Director of television's Big Brother series!

dg writes: First made, on this blog at least, in 2003:)
Glad you enjoyed it DG. My first post-uni job was at Crossness, my office overlooked the pump house. It’s an extraordinary building, as is the environmental change it facilitated. It was a God awful job though.
Another unoriginal observation on my part: how the Victorians combined functional engineering with the ornate. Meades explores this in depth in 'Victoria Died in 1901', for those so inclined.
Thanks dg. I was working near Borehamwood when the new BBHouse arrived, but didn't realise where the old one was...
Sorry to be a pedant (especially a steam pedant) but Crossness has the largest <rotative> beam engines in the world.

The largest beam engine full stop is at Cruquius in the Netherlands (I think). The guys at Kew Bridge might also get a bit upset as their beam engines are bigger, although they are Cornish cycle of course!

I'll get my coat.

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