The great stink


History has some great named events; The Great Sheep Panic of 1888 is one of my favourites but The Great Stink of 1858 is another classic. Basically all the sewerage in London more or less drained into the Thames, which was tidal, so all sorts of crap (literally) was left on the foreshore in the hot summer weather. Somethings never change, and it only became a recognised problem when the Houses of Parliament were effected by the stench that action was eventually taken and a new sewer system that moved all the effluence out of the metropolitan area was built.

We love a bit of history in our house, most of it gained from Horrible Histories or other great documentary series, so reading about this on our recent trip to the Museum of London to see their Great Fire of London exhibition was good fun. I even made the eldest pose for the above picture (in lieu of not being able to take pictures in the temporary exhibition).

I was prompted to write about the Great Stink by the fact we have an unfathomable smell in our office kitchen. We think it’s something to do with the water filter that’s plumbed in to the mains water but can’t be sure. It’s bad. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become generally less tolerant of smells myself. Sometimes when I go to the gents for an extended visit, the smell is enough to make me gag, let alone anyone else in the family. The same is true for all the lads in our house, which probably means it hereditary. Consequently I’ve decided to print out the photo above, laminate it, and stick up on the wall of the downstairs toilet. Call it inspirational, or comiseratorial (is that a word, it is now) but it will fit it’s new environs pretty (far too) well.