Walking Under The Thames

by @edent | , , | Read ~233 times.

Earlier this year, I won the BlueLightCamp Hackathon. Usually prizes are a token of appreciation - vouchers, a books, maybe even a new phone if you're lucky. This, however, was a "money can't buy" prize - a trip through the Thames Barrier.

And so, during one of London's delightfully wet summer's days, I made my way to the site in Greenwich.

Here are some of the photos I took during the trip.

The first thing to note is that the site is an active industrial area - it's not a museum. There are people working every day to keep London safe.

I expected the barriers themselves to be solid lumps - ready to repel the advancing tide.

The size and scale of the machinery is immense.

Being under that much water means that there is the occasional ingress of liquid.

The whole area can get quite damp - which means that pipes often rust and need replacing.

Security on the area is very tight. It's impossible to get in without going through a number of locked gates. The last thing they want is some idiot randomly pressing buttons...

The tunnels underneath the Thames have stairwells leading onto each platform.

I had expected that the barriers would be constructed purely of man-made materials. That is not the case.

Each pier is fully equipped with a wide range of machinery.

The tunnels themselves are dark, dank, and a little creepy. They trail off into the distance in a perfectly straight line. They are silent except for the faint drip of water and the buzz of the lights.

At times, when walking through, it feels like the tunnel goes on forever.

Walking under the Thames

Finally, it's worth taking a moment not only to marvel at this engineering wonder - but to remember the devastating forces of nature which lead to its creation.

Thames Barrier Plaque

Many thanks to the Environment Agency for their generous prize and for letting us experience a hidden part of London.

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