The big stink hits Dalston. If you’ve not smelt it, don’t worry because you soon will

DalstonStink©DA: Fatberg? Network Rail work at Martel Place, Dalston E8 2LX 270219 ©


DalstonStink©DA19: Network Rail work at Martel Place, Dalston E8 2LX, on pipe failures causing flooding to rail and smell around Hackney 220519 © Network Rail work at Martel Place, Dalston E8 2LX on pipe failures causing flooding
Stinker: above and top, contractors get stuck in next to the Overground near Dalston Kingsland station

* Update February 2020: Not only was the stink noticed in summer 2019, although not as often as initially, it was still evident this month


HACKNEY PEOPLE are causing a big stink — nothing new there, then — but this time it’s not a protest to save anything. It is a smell.

The locals are being held responsible for a pong that has been drifting into homes near the Kingsland centre since early this year 2019.

Network Rail told Loving Dalston that residents had put large — some of them metallic — items down toilet bowls. NW was called in to solve the problem, because it was causing flooding that threatened the Overground track, the old North London Line that runs to Stratford.

DalstonStink©DA19: Network Rail work at Martel Place, Dalston E8 2LX on stink causing flooding to rail and smell around Hackney 220519 ©
Heavy lifting: a lorry-borne crane swings into action by the railway track

The Dalstoners’ thoughtless, uhm, dumps had been “damaging mechanical components and causing blockages. We are also looking at the Victorian sewer that runs through the rail track and clearing it and fixing collapses to prevent sewage backing up.” It was not a fatberg.

The de-privatised company has had engineers and other specialists working with massive generators powering pumps in Martel Place E8 2LX, just east of the Kingsland centre, for months. The de-tangsters  have been toiling at night to avoid disrupting trains.

DalstonStink©DAb: Fatberg? Network Rail work at Martel Place, Dalston E8 2LX 090419 ©
Looking east towards the German Hospital bridge. Beyond it is Hackney Central station

NW added: “We can’t access the railway when trains are running. The amount of work required in the small (daily) window of time, combined with historical problems, resident misuse and buried drainage being unknowns, are all factors affecting the time taken.”

No completion date could yet be given. Workers at the site have told Loving Dalston, however, that the stench could hang around for months. The problem centred on a pipe collapse between Dalston Lane and the bridge to the German Hospital. One man said: “If you think it’s bad now, wait until summer comes to London.”

Gulp: like, now.

Dalston businessman Daniel Weston, of About the Bike, said that when it rains “you can smell it all over Dalston, particularly around Ridley Road Market. It overpowers even the coffee smell from the Allpress roastery”.

David Altheer 290619

* All pictures © DavidAltheer [at], and all for sale for reproduction. Bigger format versions usually available

Backstory: Hackney to Croydon at last!; Marvellous Martel Place

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.

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