The name of the huge boring machine which will dig the Lee Tunnel has been chosen, thanks to the children at Newham Primary School. Thames Water announced the winner, Ryan Waters, at a special assembly at the school, and the name he chose – Busy Lizzie.
Busy Lizzie will get ‘busy’ at the start of next year to dig the four-mile long tunnel under the borough and her name will be emblazoned across the 120-metre long machine.
The tunnel will give some relief to the River Lee, which currently sees around 16 million tonnes of sewage entering it every year when the sewage system can’t cope at times of heavy rainfall. The new tunnel will now take the sewage to the upgraded Beckon sewage works instead of it being released to emergency sewer outflows into the river.
The competition received 232 entries from the school which were judged by Councillor Andrew Baikie, Thames Water’s chief executive Martin Baggs, and Lawrence Gosden, head of capital delivery.
The school has also been awarded with £5,000 of prize money.
Ten year old Ryan stated:
“The boring tunnel machine is massive. Nothing can defeat it. It bores its way through the ground. It works hard. That is why it is called busy. One hundred years ago and fifty, the London sewers were built. Victoria was Queen. Today Elizabeth is Queen. Lizzie comes from Elizabeth. That’s why it’s called Lizzie.
“Busy Lizzie is also the pet name of a flower. Flowers smell nice. Sewers stink!”