Water water everywhere, spouts the Mariner poet—but soon coming on tap for RNLI
- Credit: Dan McCurry
Water, water everywhere in London’s East End—and plenty of drops to drink, Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner might be pleased to hear.
Thousands of gallons burst into the air near Victoria Park, apparently from nowhere, puzzling the authorities over the Bank Holiday weekend because no-one seemed to know where it came from.
Now a pop-up café pouring out only H2O is opening for a day just a mile away in Bethnal Green this Friday, with all the water you can drink—and it’s free.
The mystery water spout burst from the pavement in appropriately-named Old Ford Road, on the corner of Gunmaker’s Lane, but vanished within 20 minutes, almost as quickly as it had appeared.
“It was 60 feet when I saw it, twice as high as the fountain in the park,” passer-by Dan McCurry reported. “It created a party atmosphere, with people taking photos of each other with the spout. The whole road was flooded, but we’ve no idea what caused it to shoot up through the drain.”
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Thames Water was ‘flooded’ with calls from householders and sent in a crack squad to sort it out.
But it was all over by the time engineers arrived—only to discover it wasn’t even a water main.
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“We checked it out,” a puzzled Thames Water spokesman said. “Nothing wrong with our pipe network.
“We got calls and a team went out as a priority, but all we found were puddles. It wasn’t the water main and no-one’s reported taps running dry in their homes.”
The company suggested it might be a Fire Brigade hydrant letting off steam, or rather water.
But the fire service was just as perplexed. A brigade spokesman said: “We would have answered calls to flooding, but had nothing.”
Then to cap it all, as it were, the Royal National Lifeboat institute which spends its life on water is opening an H2Only bar for one day only on Friday, in Bethnal Green Road.
It’s part of a challenge to persuade the public to give up booze and other drinks and consume only H2O for 10 days, the money saved given to the lifeboat charity.
On tap will be volunteer crewmates from the Thames’ Tower lifeboat station, Winni Jarvis, Mark Novelle and Steffan Ciccotti, who are taking on the challenge themselves and urging the public to jump in with them—no tea, coffee, wine, beer, fizzy drinks or fruit juice for 10 days. Just water until 5pm on June 12.
Winni admitted: “Going 10 days without a cup of tea, coffee or a fizzy drink during shift will be really hard, but it’s worth it.”
Crews at Tower lifeboat have already launched 140 times so far this year and saved seven people from the drink.