Furness lengthsman creates calendar - featuring drainage covers and grass verges!

Furness lengthsman creates calendar - featuring drainage covers and grass verges!

Archie Workman

One of the pictures from the calendar

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

FURNESS lengthsman Archie Workman cannot ‘kerb’ his enthusiasm for drain covers.

His obsession with the metal coverings is verging on the ridiculous.

For he has just produced a ‘drain cover’ calendar which is set to become a national hit.

Mr Workman, of Penny Bridge, put together six of the calendars for his colleagues on Colton Parish Council, for whom he is employed as a temporary lengthsman.

“My contract was extended so I sort of made them as a joke for Christmas, to say thank-you,” he said.

But inquiries have now come in from all over the country and there have been requests for 60 of the calendars.

“I was gobsmacked at the response,” he said. “I’ve had people ringing me saying that their dad worked on the drains or some other member of their family, and they wanted to buy one for them.

“I’ve had orders mostly for people in the North West but there has been some from around the country.”

Mr Workman, who also works at Ulverston Business Centre, has always been ‘fascinated’ by drain covers. His first job was as an apprentice in a foundry. But this interest was furthered by his role as a lengthsman, which involves the upkeep of the covers.

“I really enjoy the job - it is nice to be outside in the fresh air,” he said. “But I’ve found the drain covers so interesting.”

They have different names on them, and many have Lancashire County Council on them because the area used to be classed as Lancashire. There are some from Clitheroe and others from Dudley. It’s sad that many of the places they were made are now gone. There’s a lot of history behind them.

“I’ve also found it quite interesting to discover the geometry of the drains, and how they interconnect. “There’s a whole world underneath us that we don’t realise.”

Although he could have made a few pennies from his venture, Mr Workman said there was no money making in it for him.

“We have agreed that profits will go to the parish council to buy tools for me, and also to buy wild flower seeds to plant around the drain covers in the parish,” he said.

To order a copy of The Lengthsman’s Calendar, visit www.coltonparishcouncil.org.uk .

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