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Monday, July 06, 2009

Kicking up a stink

It all started at the King's Head. Sitting in the window and staring out at the main road, and beyond it, two brand new semi-detached houses, I noticed a tall, old pipe similar to a lamp post, next to one of the houses.
"What's that?"
"Stench pipe," said J, authoritatively.
Well I had never heard of such a thing, although he assures me every house has one and they eliminate gases from the sewage system. I texted my mum Giz, who replied: "Cesspit? Dunno and don't want to know either".
I had to Google it and discovered that there are several Victorian stench pipes which are regarded rather as works of art and made Grade II listed buildings. Here is an example:

Although examples still exist, nowadays this type of stench pipe is now obsolete because every house nowadays has to have its vent pipe positioned discretely amid its plumbing. If the subject should intrigue you, as it does me, the Northern Echo has been writing about stench or stink pipes for a while.

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