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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): MCC/CL/EMD
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1936-1965
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 3.33 linear metres
Name of creator(s): MCC | Middlesex County Council x Middlesex County Council


Administrative/Biographical history:

The phenomenal growth of population in Middlesex from early 1920s brought problems of peculiar difficulty in sewage disposal. These were partly offset by the district councils extending their local purification works but it was clear that the problem could best be met by co-ordination and centralisation of treatment.

After intensive investigation and report by its consulting engineers, under the guidance of John Duncan Watson, the County Council with difficulty secured one of the last Unemployment Grants and obtained powers to construct and operate a system of trunk sewers, with sewage purification and sludge disposal works, to serve Western Middlesex. The undertaking came into operation in 1935-36 and included the Mogden works, then the largest and most modern full-treatment plant in the world.

Further powers were obtained in 1938 for a similar undertaking to serve North and East Middlesex. Although the Second World War delayed the project, the new works were in operation by 1963. The East Middlesex works served 14 local authorities covering an area of 95 square miles and a population of 710,000. The system included 24 miles of trunk sewers, with a flow of 32,000,000 gallons a day.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Middlesex County Council Clerk's Department relating to East Middlesex drainage, 1939-1965, including papers of the East Middlesex Drainage Committee; correspondence with consulting engineers; reports by the County Drainage Engineer; papers relating to personnel; papers relating to the Deephams sewage works, Edmonton, including contracts, administration, photographs and inspections; papers relating to general sludge disposal; papers relating to Rammey Marsh sludge disposal works, the Chingford disposal works, Enfield sewage pumping main and Wanstead and Woodford works; papers relating to sewer construction, including the Cuffley Brook branch sewer, East Barnet sewer, Lea Valley sewer, Tottenham low level sewer, Waltham Holy Cross branch sewer, and Wood Green sewer.

Maps and plans of Cuffley Brook sewer, East Barnet branch sewer, Lea Valley low level sewer, Tottenham low level sewer, Waltham Abbey sewer and Deephams sewerage works.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

MCC/CL/EMD: General files; MCC/CL/EMD/MP: Maps and plans.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the Corporation of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Acquired with the records of its parent authority, the Middlesex County Council, and with successor authorities.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Further records relating to the Deephams Sewage Works can be found in the records of the Greater London Council (reference GLC). See also MCC/CL/L/EMD.

Publication note:

For further information on the history of the Middlesex County Council please see Middlesex by Sir Clifford Radcliffe (2 editions, 1939 and 1953), LMA Library reference 97.09 MID; and The County Council of the Administrative County of Middlesex: 76 years of local government, 1 April 1889 to 31 March 1965, by Middlesex County Council (1965), LMA library reference S97.09 MID.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
April to June 2009

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