Danny works in the murky world of London's sewers. He spends his days inspecting subterranean London, clearing colossal fatbergs out of the Victorian Sewers and making sure Londoners can carry on their lives without worrying about what's below their feet. For him though, that's just another day at the office.
This film is part of 1000 Londoners, a five-year digital project which aims to create a digital portrait of a city through 1000 of the people who identify themselves with it. The profile contains a 3 minute film that gives an insight into the life of the Londoner, as well as their personal photos of London and some answers to crucial questions about their views on London life. Over the course of the project we aim to reveal as many facets of the capital as possible, seeing city life from 1000 points of view.
1000 Londoners is produced by South London based film production company and social enterprise, Chocolate Films. The filmmakers from Chocolate Films will be both producing the films and providing opportunities to young people and community groups to make their own short documentaries, which will contribute to the 1000 films. Visit chocolatefilms.com ;
When I first started, I was actually concerned about what the sewers were going to be like. I wasn't too sure, but it's not so bad. It's quite a sweet smell, it's quite damp in here, so it's kind of musky, but it's not as bad as what you think. It's fascinating to sort of be able to get into a sewer on one side of London and walk all the way the the other. You kind of get a feel for where you are by what's in the sewer. There's more fat and rats over in the West end, whereas the sewers over the East end of London are slightly bigger and got more flow in them. I was actually offered the position through a friend and I thought I'd come along and see exactly what the job entailed. Yeah, there is a certain amount of camaraderie amongst the guys. You spend a lot of time working with these people all day, every day in quite tight spaces. Yeah, you get quite cosy and friendly with them.
Yeah there's loads of goodies on this one.
Working down here, it's almost a lads kind of adventure, you know, wondering around underground and stuff so it's like a boy's club in the fact that not everyone gets to see what's under London so we kind of get to share it amongst ourselves. Okay so what we've actually got here is some chains and you can see they're sort of covered in rags and stuff. This is wet-wipes, this is all stuff that people have put down the sewer. Sort of, sewer abuse. People will put stuff down the sinks and drains that they're not supposed to; predominantly cooking fat. It's just like a white horrible smelly mess and because it's sticky it collects when you've got wet-wipes, cotton pads, sanitary items and that then adds to the fat and it all sort of builds up into a big fatberg. The blockage that we found under Leicester Square, that's where we found a sewer that was full of fat. It's something you never think you would see. And there was a thousand cubic metres of fat in there, which was the equivalent to about sort of nine double decker buses worth of fat. And it actually took us three months to clear that out. My wife, Mel, she can tell if I've been in the sewer. I'll go home and she'll say, 'you've been in the sewer today'. We have facilities in the depot to have a shower and a wash-up but if we've been somewhere that's particularly nasty, it does actually get into the pours of your skin, the smell of the fat so it can take a couple of good showers to scrub it off.