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Whitechapel Fatberg Manhole Cover

Home > London > Free | Free | Memorials | Memorials | Quirky | Quirky
by Mike Whyte (subscribe)
www.mykadelica.com
Published November 12th 2021
The site where one of London's more quirky battles was won


Totally hidden in plain sight is a fascinating memorial to a quite disgusting yet fascinating event that happened only a couple of years ago. No joking here, this event captured the imagination of the public so much that it made not just national, but international news, and an exhibition was dedicated to it at the Museum of London. What am I talking about? None other than the capturing of the Whitechapel Fatberg.

Should you not be aware of what I'm talking about, which I find hard to believe, let's go back to the Autumn of 2017. London was undergoing a program of updating its sewer system, which at one time was world-beating, but in some areas at least, hadn't been developed since Victorian times. The fatberg, as it was to become known, was discovered blocking one such sewer in Whitechapel. Made up of all of the things people tend to flush down the toilet (and shouldn't) and bound together by the congealed fat poured down plug holes and drains (which they also shouldn't), over time creating a 250 metre long, 130-tonne waste monster.

So fascinating was this discovery to the people of the UK that not only was it top news on the BBC, but also Thames Water set up a Fatberg-cam to see the behemoth being removed in real-time.

The manhole cover you see pictured marks the victory spot where the Fatberg was finally conquered; the cover commemorating a quite unique battle.

Should you want to witness the victory spot yourself, you will need to look carefully - as you can see the manhole cover is designed to blend in with the other manhole covers of the area - so look carefully when you exit Whitechapel tube and overground station, it is located close to the road directly in front of the exit.

Take a picture and help celebrate one of the more unusual events from London's long and varied history.



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Why? The site of one of London's most unusual battles
When: anytime
Where: Whitechapel Road (near Whitechapel Tube Station)
Cost: free
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