There are approximately 70,000 drains in Sheffield with a specific team who maintain and clean them throughout the year. In The Star’s article “One of city’s dirty jobs…but someone has to do it” by Ellen Beardmore, part of the drain cleaning team talk about the job and its enjoyments as well as its difficulties including items they have discovered hiding beneath the covers.

“I found a gun round the back of Atkinsons once, wrapped in a carrier bag, and a pristine £20 note near the Blake Hotel in Upperthorpe. Going back some years I found a doctor’s white coat and inside it a stethoscope, God knows what that was all about. You also find unsavoury things like needles.” – Michael from Hillsborough, part of the team.

“There is all sorts in there. We’ve had car keys, it seems to be common that people drop them in there when they are coming home, and we’ve helped a lady get her wedding ring out.” – John Mollart, part of the team.


When things go down into the underground world of the drain pipe corridors we think they are gone forever. No one suspects anyone really checks the drain and manhole covers, no one really goes down there. There could be many more being used as secret cupboards or someone hoping that once it’s out of sight its out of mind.
Beardmore,E. (2014, August 11). One of the city’s dirty jobs… but someone has do it. The Star, Retrieved from

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