Temples of Sanitation

Mike Higginbottom


Region:
Anywhere
Notice Period:
Emergency (maybe less than one week's notice)
Type:
Architectural and social history
Fee:
Paid: Dependent on size of audience and distance travelled from South Yorkshire
Category:
History
Updated:
23rd November 2017

London’s growth in the nineteenth century created a public-health crisis: its increasing population drawing water and emptying its drainage into the River Thames caused epidemics which only diminished after a controversial campaign to provide clean water-supply and a system of main drainage. The Metropolitan Board of Works’ engineer, Joseph Bazalgette, improved the physical appearance and quality of life in London more than any other individual in his generation.

In the process of engineering the healthy sanitary condition which later generations take for granted, the politicians, managers and designers of the nation’s water-supply and sewerage systems left a wealth of high-quality buildings, gigantic engineering works and attractive landscapes across the country.

Most surprising of these structures are the monumental and elaborately decorated pumping stations, some of which survived the age of steam to be preserved in working order or adapted to fresh uses. This lecture illustrates, among others, the two major London pumping stations, Abbey Mills (1864) and Crossness (1865) and the unusually elaborate installation at Papplewick, Nottinghamshire (1882-6).

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About Mike Higginbottom

I am a freelance history lecturer specialising in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with a background in university extramural education.

I offer distinctive, life-enhancing insights into the past, particularly the recent past, for people who enjoy visiting places and recognising the human stories behind this historical heritage.

I lecture for the Arts Society (formerly the National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies [NADFAS]) in the UK, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

Whether lecturing, writing or guiding tours, I provide detailed information in a lucid and entertaining way.  My publications and lectures are copiously illustrated, as much as possible using my own photography.

Mike Higginbottom Interesting Times is the brand for my history education work – tours, lectures and publications. My blog is a fund of interesting, sometimes quirky insights into places, people and historical events.

I'm based in Sheffield and willing to travel anywhere in the UK or further afield.


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