Sewers enjoy a special place in the pantheon of urban mythology.

-Matthew Gandy

Photo by Otter at Silent UK

The first big event of 2011 already went down. Literally. This year’s International Drain Meet (IDM) was hosted by London, organized by Otter at Silent UK. It was the largest meeting of the international draining community in London’s history with over 50 people from 6 countries in a large overflow chamber under Knightsbridge. We had drainers from the UK, Sweden, Italy, France, USA and Australia, including the UE Kingz, Brescia Underground and the Cave Clan. We also had a heavy contingent of the massively fun Manchester drainer contingent.

We also seem to have finally melded the two top London crews at this meet through Siologen’s powers of healing oration (see below). By the end of the night, Jon Doe, the King of UK draining, conjured himself out of thin air in the middle of the party to the delight of everyone in attendance. It was, by all accounts, one of the best gatherings in London urban explorer history. A full write up can be found on Winch’s blog.

Otter was kind enough to ask me to film the event since he was busy organizing all night. Here is my contribution – it is best viewed on full screen with the volume turned up loud enough to assault your neighbours.

As always, explore everything.

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Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.
-Mel Brooks

Peel

At the wheel

Recently, our buddy Paul Dobraszczyk, author of the book Into the Belly of the Beast: Exploring London’s Victorian Sewers was interviewed by Resonance FM for their series Tunnel Vision where the producers took people on an legally-questionable journey into a London sewer for an interview. I met Paul soon after at the subterranean London Illumini exhibit in Shoreditch. Just about the same time, Silent Motion was making a fuss about how we neglect South London on our explorations.

When Paul told me about his experience in the Effra River, given it runs only a mile from my house, we thought we may as well have a look. So last night, Silent Motion, Statler and I went down with a backpack sound system, a video camera and an abundance of energy to explore my own backyard. What we found amazed and surprised us.

It’s good to know this little wonder is just a short walk from my house. It was a night well spent exploring another of London’s hidden rivers.

Zarathustra

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