The Northumbria Club held its Guest Night at the National Liberal Club on March 15. Ian Graham was in the chair.
Guest speaker was Steve Hails, director of health and safety for the Thames Tideway Tunnel project.
Steve was born and brought up in Tynemouth, before joining the Royal Navy as a submariner. Subsequently he worked for Proctor and Gamble and Siemens, before being recruited to the Crossrail Project.
He spoke about the Thames Tideway Tunnel, a project to renew large sections of London’s sewers. The capital is still served by a sewerage system devised by Joseph Bazalgette in 1860 and it is a tribute to his brilliant engineering that it can still service a population that has increased fourfold.
It is hoped that the new system will be operating by 2023. It is the UK’s largest ever wastewater project, with a £4.2billion budget (all raised from private finance) and 24 construction sites.
It is planned that the new system will serve London for the next 150 to 200 years, dealing with an annual quantity of sewage that would fill the Royal Albert Hall 450 times over.
Following a lively question and answer session, Steve was thanked by the chairman and presented with a club tie.
The next meeting will be the AGM on Wednesday, June 7, after which the chairman will speak about Sir Edward Grey, Viscount Grey of Falloden, Britain’s longest serving Foreign Secretary.