Hello, it’s April 2019 and I’m in London. It’s a lovely sunny day: the kind of day when you can get out and do almost anything you want. And what we’re gonna do is visit a 170 year old sewage pumping station. This is Crossness pumping station in southeast London. It’s a Victorian sewage station that has recently reopened as a museum and opens its doors to the public twice a month. There’s an exhibition here exploring the story of sewage and fables of flushing, and there’s plenty to see including this collection of classic khazis. You’ll learn about the heroes of the toilet world such as royal restroom supplier and inventor of the u-bend Thomas P. Crapper. No, that really is his name. This legend of lavatories also came up with the idea of the manhole as well as patenting the ballcock and you can see a genuine original crapper here. But arguably an even bigger hero is this guy. London’s sewage system was developed in the 19th century by the engineer Joseph Bazalgette in response to deadly outbreaks of cholera caused by the previous sewage system. And when I say previous sewage system, strictly speaking, it was called the River Thames Bazalgette oversaw the construction of nearly 2,000 kilometres of pipes and sewers and four major pumping stations at Grover Bridge, Deptford, Abbey Mills, and this one in Crossness. They were built with the help of architect Charles Driver, who was big on ornamental ironwork and had a background in designing railway stations. So I think it’s time we took a look inside what the museum refers to as “the Cathedral”… which I’m assuming is some kind of ironic joke. I mean it’s a sewage pumping station. It’s never gonna look anything like a… Okay. Turns out they weren’t kidding. This is without doubt the most beautiful sewage pumping station I have ever seen! It might even be one of the most beautiful cathedrals. Downstairs in what I suppose we’ll have to call the Crypt you’ll find the pumps that kept the flow going through the pipes. When planning the sewer network Bazalgette took the densest population at the time, gave every person the most generous allowance of sewage production, and came up with a diameter of pipe needed He then doubled it just in case and it’s a good thing he did because otherwise when tower blocks arrived in the 1960s, London would have needed to rebuild the whole system. Or I suppose it would have had no 1960s tower blocks. So is that really a good thing…? Yes, it is a good thing because the work of Bazalgette and the people under him made one of the biggest single contributions to the health of Londoners bringing an end to cholera outbreaks and saving tens of thousands of lives from diseases that are now consigned to the history books. Bazalgette put his own health at risk by obsessively inspecting the works in person, but his attention to detail created a system that is still used today. It’s honestly difficult to overstate how much influence this guy has had in allowing London to grow and flourish into one of the world’s leading cities If you’d like to visit the Cathedral of Sewage yourself and pay tribute to a forgotten hero, or perhaps you just need somewhere to go for a first date, there’s a link in the description with a calendar of all the museum’s open days Tickets are 7 pounds for adults, which gives you access to the exhibition, the cathedral, and the surrounding buildings. You can also support the museum by leaving a donation in this bucket. Just to clarify: I think they want cash Thanks for watching! If you enjoyed the video please do slap that like button or leave a comment, subscribe to the channel if you’re new around here, and I will see you soon.