As a tourist, you would think I would want to see beautiful, natural locations or amazing feats of human architecture, but you would be wrong. I don’t visit places for the obvious tourist sights – I travel to see the unique piping layouts under the locations I visit. I have been almost everywhere and seen some amazing plumbing work done by the masters of the profession. All except one.
I had heard from my drain delver friends that some of the best places they had visited had been places with blocked drains, Camberwell being one of them. I wasn’t entirely sold on the idea until they told me that Barry the drain artist had built the system in that area. Barry was a legend of his plumbing craft and had won five gold piping awards before the end of his career, which was tragically cut short. Most of his work had been collaborations with other people and companies, so to find work that was only his was hard to come by.
I had been wanting to see his work for a while and was working on building some savings to go see one of his collaborations, but once I learnt he had a personally made layout not too far away I booked a trip to see it.
When I got there, a council worker was standing outside the drain works entrance. He was talking to someone on the phone, asking for a plumber for blocked drains near Brighton. He booked an inspection for later in the afternoon and got off the phone. I walked up to him, wearing all my gear for drain delving and asked if I could go in. After a confused pause, he told me it was blocked and will be fixed later today. I told him that was good and that I was hoping it would be since I had heard that it was better viewed that way.
The council worker rolled his eyes, said fine and opened the entrance for me. Inside I saw Barry’s brilliant knowledge of plumbing, and I was in awe.