Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed in an interview with Sky News that he has a “zany” hobby of spotting manhole covers. He explained to Lorraine Kelly that his mother had instilled in him an interest in checking manhole covers as a living piece of “social history.”
Zany? We don’t think so. Indeed, as manufacturers of manhole covers, we share his passion for ‘drainspotting.’ Studying the best examples from the past, and the latest advances from around the world, is often the ideal starting point for building the manhole covers of tomorrow.
Nor does it matter on which side of the political spectrum you lie, as we discovered earlier this year. When we invited our local MP, Conservative Michael Fabricant, to the Wrekin Products headquarters, he confirmed he had taken photographs of manhole covers while on holiday in Israel.
Even so, Corbyn clearly has a connoisseur’s passion for the subject, explaining that: “If you walk around and look at drain covers, you will see in London MWB, Metropolitan Board of Works. That gives you the age range because Metropolitan Board of Works hasn’t been around for a long time.” MWB was disbanded in 1889, to be precise. For any engineer, that’s a fascinating insight into the longevity of a product – and an inspiration to our research and development team.
Given advances in technology, materials and knowledge, modern manhole covers should be able to stand the test of time, and we like to think we’ve produced something that the enthusiasts of the 22nd century will look on with the same interest as Corbyn views our predecessors from the Victorian age.
Certainly, since the first of our Unite manhole covers was fitted into place 15 years ago there have been no reported failures, so we’re well on our way.
As yet, however, we cannot confirm whether Mr Corbyn has a photo of a Wrekin Products manhole cover in his collection.