Friday 5 UK Edition: Good Stuff You Missed This Week

ONE: eBay Water Item of the Week:

A working water system…just perfect for tiny suburbia! This is a 1960s vintage toy sink, made by Casdon in the UK. Seller notes “The item is in very good condition and the box is OK but has lost one flap.” GBP 14.99

TWO: Weird Water News Item of the Week:

From UKPA: March 16, 2010: Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills has plumbed the depths with a torrent of filth – by trekking through a stinking sewer for a charity challenge.

The Radio 1 DJ was set the task of stomping through human waste in London’s Victorian sewer system for a mile by fellow radio host Chris Moyles.

Scott is being given a different “mile from hell” each day this week ahead of Sport Relief this weekend.

The afternoon presenter was kitted out with safety gear before descending underground with Thames Water’s chief sewer flusher Rob Smith, who has spent the last 20 years keeping London’s sewage moving. (screenshot from a hysterical video at

THREE: Quotable Quote of the Week:

“That was one of the most bizarre two hours of my life – I’m sure I saw last night’s dinner floating past.”
Scott Mills, after his charity sewer trek.

FOUR: Water photo of the week:

Who Ya Gonna Call? by gazzat on Flickr (Taken in Budleigh Salterton, Devon, UK)

FIVE: Water Merch of the Week

Vintage Brit WWII propaganda on a modern Sigg water bottle, $28.00 from

Another Reason I’m an Anglophile

Just when we think our crush on the country, culture and people of England was getting out of hand, along comes a note from Ferrers (aka The Pie Man) to further stoke our Anglophile tendencies. He pointed us to the delightful BWTAS –  the British Water Tower Appreciation Society. The group “exists to connect enthusiasts of water towers to share their enjoyment of their artistic, cultural, architectural, historical, social and engineering significance.”

We’re in favor of that! But the best part of their “about us” statement is this “It is a society that tries not to burden itself with administration duties, committees and all that stuff (although it has them). It is whatever the members can make of it themselves.”

What will become of Jumbo, the largest remaining Victorian water tower in Britain?

What will become of Jumbo, the largest remaining Victorian water tower in Britain?

Visit their website or follow them on Twitter, but be sure to set aside some time as it is packed with tons entertaining information, not only from the UK but from all other world. (In fact, I saw plenty of US-based water-tower stuff that I’d never come across myself elsewhere!)

The Society has organized exhibitions of water tower arts and crafts, given talks, organized tours, written guidebooks on water towers, and appeared on radio and TV. Its diverse membership includes architects, artists, historians, civil engineers, utility company employees, tower owners “as well as ‘just plain folk.”

If you’re UK-based, lucky you! All the rest of us should bookmark the BWTAS site in our big-fat, “someday” UK travel folder.

Hold It! Code 3!

Were Scotland Yard’s phone operators playing it too loose with trips to the loo? You can’t manage what you can’t measure, so the bosses have devised an unintentionally-hilarious new procedure to keep tabs on toilet “productivity” metrics. From,

Toilet break now a ‘Code Three’

NO longer known as a number one or number two, when phone operators at Scotland Yard take a toilet break they will have to log it as a “Code Three” so police can monitor time wasters.

Britain’s Metropolitan police said the new rules would stop staff at the police head quarter’s control room from taking unnecessary breaks.

The operators will have to log toilet visits as a “code three” on a bath-specific database.

Staff are fuming about being so heavily scrutinised.

Employee Paul Drew wrote in a staff magazine: “Everyone I have spoken to about this finds it deeply offensive and humiliating.

“It would be interesting to know what the public or the Met can possibly gain from making notes of such intimate details.”

Superintendent Russ Hanson-Coles, told the BBC: “Our primary role at central communications command is to be available for the public to contact and it is vital that we make the best use of our resources.

“Staff in this environment have regular breaks that compare very favourably with outside industry so the need for extra personal breaks should be minimal.”