Of all the places Mr Q could really find interesting he chooses this one as his favourite!
Southern Water’s famous sewer tours are unique. There is no other place in Britain where members of the public can walk through the labyrinth of tunnels beneath their towns, learning secrets from 150 years ago.
Brighton boasts Victoriana aplenty, from the Palace Pier to the world’s oldest operating electric railway, but sewer visitors go down the drains to see the largest Victorian exhibit of them all – and if you go you will be amazed by what you will see. You will be amazed to discover clean spring water bubbling beneath your feet from a freshwater river that still runs under the city and you will see barnacles on the walls from where the tide used to come in.
The Victorian sewers were so well designed and built that they remain in use today.
The bricklayers of the 1870s were paid between ten and 15 shillings (50p to 75p) per 12ft length of the sewer tunnel, depending on how thick the brickwork was. The best men could earn £4 and ten shillings a week. General labourers earned half the bricklayers’ pay.
Today, sewer tunnels are made of concrete segments and the whole process is highly mechanised.
The Victorian sewers are still in operation, with the old tunnel (which runs from Hove to Portobello) serving as an emergency relief valve during times of heavy rain.