Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Archaeology of Plumbing

 I asked Peter if- as a side job- he'd fix the leaking tap out by the sheds- and then felt guilty because it took him so much longer than I thought it would. But the way he tells it he was having fun. He'd found a buried stopcock and water meter that didn't look as though they'd been touched since they were installed in the late 1960s- and he loves that sort of thing because he's an enthusiast for the archaeology of his craft. Steel piping had been used- and no modern plumber would do that because it corrodes. 

Inside the house- where he's working on the main job of refitting the cloakroom- he found stainless steel piping- which is top of the range but tiresome because it can't be welded. His predecessor had wedged a scrap of newspaper between two pipes to stop them knocking- and Peter unwrapped it carefully to see if there was a hidden message- and found a date in 1987. Had his predecessor chosen that particular scrap deliberately ?  I'd like to think so. I suggested to Peter that he should date his work in the same way. 
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