Looking Back: Unravelling Morecambe’s stinkpipes

Morecambe stinkpipes. Pictures by David Chandler.
Morecambe stinkpipes. Pictures by David Chandler.

Unusual lampposts have been spotted throughout Morecambe which has prompted one resident to find out more on the mysterious objects.

David Chandler has taken a closer look at some of the Victorian lampposts which are marginally ignored by passersby.

The posts known as ‘stinkpipes’ can be seen on South Road, Bare Lane and Happy Mount Drive.

David has always been curious about the stinkpipes which he assumed were gas lamps – on closer inspection he discovered there is no obvious place where a light could have been.

Determined to unravel the mystery David was contacted by local historian Dorothy McKenzie, who said the objects were in fact Victorian pipes used to vent the sewer system and prevent the build-up of dangerous gases.

The Morecambe stinkpipes were made by Clapham Brotherss of Keighley and are believed to be Victorian or Edwardian.

The pipes are elaborately decorated and vary in design and condition.

David said: “It would be nice to see them preserved as they are a piece of Morecambe’s history.

“In those days, the biggest selling point for the resort was it’s clean air, so objects such as these were the town’s way of showing that our air was the cleanest it could possibly be.

“They would have been objects of pride - now, sadly they are largely ignored.”

In total David has discovered five of the stinkpipes – the other two being on Osborne Grove and Arnside Crescent thanks to the help of Trevor Dodgson and Peter Wade.

The pictures show the pipes on Osborne Grove and Arnside Crescent.

Do you know more on Morecambe’s stinkpipes? If so get in touch via email – gemma.sherlock@jpress.co.uk.