This photograph is taken from an article I came across whilst researching drainage and manhole covers. The photograph is by Steve Morgan and is from an article published 25/09/15 on the Independent website, “Jeremy Corbyn: Admirers of drains and manhole covers find a hero in the Labour leader” by journalist Dean Kirby.

Not only does the article discuss Jeremy Corbyn’s love for manhole covers, but it also revealed to me  that there are groups of people who share this hobby of photographing manhole covers and coal covers nicknamed “drain-spotters” or “Gridders”. Archie Workman being one of the first drain-spotters, who has also brought out his own calendar on the subject.

Another gridder, Richard Johnson (a member of a Southport gridders society), is also featured in the article. I liked a statement Mr. Johnson made about the hobby:

“There is a lot of silliness to it. Some of it has to do with an appreciation of lumps of metal in the ground, but it’s also about people who might not otherwise meet getting together and talking about nothing in particular over a pint. The good thing about gridding is that it gives you a moment to pause and take time to look at the world around you. If Jeremy Corbyn is doing that, then it’s a good thing. It’s a really good quality to have.”

Source: Kirby, D. (2015, September 25). Jeremy Corbyn: Admirers of drains and manhole covers find a hero in the Labour leader. The Independent. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/jeremy-corbyn-admirers-of-drains-and-manhole-covers-find-a-hero-in-the-labour-leader-a6668401.html


After reading this article and more on Archie Workman and gridders, I started to think about my thoughts from studying the drain pipes so far. Studying the pipes is studying the services and “arteries” of a building, which tends to be the ugly parts that are often hidden. Being a gridder is a hobby which can easily be mocked and Archie Workman is now also a member of the DMC – “Dull Mens Club” http://www.dullmensclub.com/  who’s tag line is “where we celebrate the ordinary”.

The gridders are almost curating their own pieces of an exhibition for themselves, regardless of how others may value each piece. It would be interesting to see how others “curate” if they were asked to pick out items, features, spots etc. around them. Would age effect what a person picks ? Or their interests, background and place of home?  



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