AOB for the SNC monthly conference consisted of the following:
1. More beers?
2. London tomorrow. Who’s coming?
While everyone was happy to vote yes on the first item, I only managed to get a rise out of tweek and morse who were happy to ride down with me and spend the weekend doing ldn. I’ve spent so much time in London over the past two or three months, and am slowly getting round to ticking off most of ‘the obvious’ bits and bobs of my bucket list, and one thing I did have squarely on my mind was the B side of Battersea power station and its glorious silver frankenstein control room.
Next eve we were on our way. We touched down, and for a bit of a warm up we headed into central to get some views over Russel Square and British Museum with Andrew and Dicky from the fantastic S€nat€ Hous€. I’ve not really seen the city from this direction before, and it provided a lovely start to the weekend.
Russel Square, British Museum
After our leisurely climb down was hastened by a rare upward gawp from a pedestrian, we quickly made our way to the cars and made the decision to head towards Wandsworth, picking my brother up on the way who’d just finished work and was looking for something to do. We got to Battersea at a decent enough time, and made out way in with dicky (the seasoned battersea vet) at the helm. It wasn’t too long before we were on the roof, and I was setting up to shamelessly copy dicky’s awesome pano of the north face of the station he took on his last visit.
If it were possible to plot a graph of familiarity of a place or size of party against intensity of experience, you would probably find you ended up with something resembling a reverse exponential curve. In stark contrast to my first visit to Battersea, (in which none of our team really knew anything about the way in) this trip was remarkable relaxed, and we spent a lot more time pissing about northern style than being 1337 ninj0rz.
Wiggling our way down though its rusted hulk, we made it to control room B and made fots until it was time to head out.
The next day was spent hopelessly noobing around the exterior and roof of the old Gillette factory up in Isleworh thats now sealed as tight as you like. Rather than resorting to local tactics we gave up and gave my good friend Kéítéí a bell for a bit of info on one of London’s best known underground rivers: The Fleet.
London’s combined storm relief and sewage system is a marvel of victorian engineering, and the fact its still going today at many times its designed capacity is a testament to the men who built it and to the man who designed it: Mr Joseph Balzegate. The egg shaped design of these sewage ducts has ensured that they never get clogged up, and are still working to this day, despite the tonnes of fat, face wipes, tapons and condoms that are being flushed down London’s toilets drains at an ever increasing rate.
It was never going to be the walk around the nearby Regents Park we could have wussily opted for, but even by sewer standards, this was grim. Cat sized rats splashing around in a balls deep river of turd and toilet paper, fighting for the scarce nuggets of sweet corn en route to the Thames from last nights KFC family feast was met in its mingness only by the unbelievable explosions of smells we kept unearthing with our boots, of which there were a variety Ive come across nowhere else. I only got a couple of shots down here of one of the ‘features’ – a nice little triple arch affair which leads down to an over flow section.
Unfortunately for us, this bit lay under a loose grate, which injected a gun-shot impulse through the cavernous chamber every time tires passed over it on the road above. By this point, I think tweek had had enough. Spending your Saturday afternoon wading through other peoples shit in a confined space while contenting with the aural equivalent of a war wasn’t really what he wanted, and after trying a few lids (one of which emerged in the middle of Kings Cross St. Pancrass.. whoops), we settled on one that looked like a goer. It took the pair of us the get the thing up, the reason why becoming obvious after we topped over the bin of number 43 which had been perched on top of it.
We headed back to a safe house to get showered, and in three hours, we were standing at the foot of a massive tower crane in the heart of London’s skyscraper district. The most heads I’ve ever seen up a crane is about 4, but tonight, me morse and tweek would be joining six others at the top for a little bit of a party 500ft above the streets of London.