London volunteer needed

Do you live in London, or close enough that you could make a day trip there without too much inconvenience?

Do you have an aversion to foul smells?

If your answers are respectively “yes” and “no,” then I have a psychotic request to make. One of the things I want to research in London is Bazalgette’s Victorian sewer system. Since his work is still in use, access is limited; my one shot, pretty much, is the “Sewer Week” visit (yes, really) that Thames Water hosts each year. Unfortunately, the tour is on May 18th, which is still inside my four-week physical therapy window after I get out of this boot. In other words, too early for me to go wandering around surface London, let alone its sewers.

So I can’t make it. But maybe you can.

I’m seeking one (1) volunteer who loves me and/or the Onyx Court books well enough to spend the evening of Tuesday, May 18th tramping around the West Ham trunk sewer, taking notes and photographs and questioning the guide on my behalf. If you’re able and willing, e-mail me (marie [dot] brennan [at] gmail [dot] com), and one lucky winner will get to endure dreadful smells in the service of historically accurate writing.

Reward is a signed advance copy of A Star Shall Fall, which I will hand-deliver during the dinner I buy you when I come to London in (probably) June. Or else mail to you, if dinner doesn’t work out.

Feel free to pass this request along to friends who might be able to help, if you yourself can’t (or don’t want to!) do it.

0 Responses to “London volunteer needed”

  1. hooton

    Ordinarily I’d jump up and down to volunteer, but it’s my graduation ceremony on the 18th so I won’t be able to make it.

    I’ll put a post up on my LJ when I get home to see if that gets you any volunteers and I’ve also put a post up on the SCBWI community because I suspect there are a few people who might be up for a sewer visit for their own books.

  2. green_knight

    I’d love to do this, but I’m broke enough that I can’t do it on my own dollar. (I live a $25 bus ride away from London.)

    • Marie Brennan

      I’ll put you on the list anyway; push come to shove, I’ll pay your bus fare myself.

      • green_knight

        I’d love to be able to be more generous with my money as well as my time, but, well, life. I thought I’d mention it at least so that you know there you definitely have someone to fall back onto.

        • Marie Brennan

          Hey, no need to apologize; I’m well aware that what I’m asking for is an imposition on the generosity of others to begin with.

  3. everywherestars

    I’m another who’d love to help, and I live in London, but I’m guessing that you’d probably need more mobility than I have to get down into the sewer. If it turns out that someone with a walking stick could do the tour, then count me in absolutely!

    • Marie Brennan

      You have to climb a ladder to get in, and I would not count on the footing to be entirely secure.

      Besides, I really wouldn’t want to be responsible for anyone hurting themselves on this quest. :-/

  4. unforth

    Wow, I would totally do that. Pity May is already super busy, thereby making it utterly impossible that I could traipse off to London for a few days. I really want to do the tour of the Paris sewers, too.

    (hey, what can I say, anything history interests me, even waste disposal…)

  5. wshaffer

    Passed this along to my twitter feed, which has a lot of literate Brits on it, so maybe that will net you a volunteer.

  6. Anonymous

    Probably won’t even be in the UK then, unfortunately…

    Going off at a very slight tangent, there’s a London blogger at who I’m pretty sure has covered the sewer system in depth (as it were) at some point – even if it turns out that he hasn’t, he’s definitely done an awful lot of posts on London’s underground rivers….

  7. lady_puck9999

    OH! I would TOTALLY do this for you, but I have an exam the next day! And I would have to get from London back to Cork… and study…

    Damn. I actually have a freakish desire to see London’s sewers, too.

  8. janni

    Some suggested to me hooking up with the London SCBWI group … not sure that you’re a member, but if you were, that’d be an excellent idea.

    Don’t know if any London SFWA members might be interested …

  9. Anonymous

    Me, me, me!

    I so want to do this, can make the date and live super close. I’m a great note taker, will take photos/videos if I’m allowed, and I share the writing a book with a sewer setting scenario.

    I can’t find any details online — how can I sign up?

    Sara OC
    saramoo (AT) hotmail [DOT] com

    • Anonymous

      Re: Me, me, me!

      I’d love to do this!!! If you need backup (as I see you’ve already had one volunteer), please let me know. My e-mail is if you need me to take notes or photographs.



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