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Last reviewed: 21.7.2011 - 5.06pm
It is tradition that every tunnelling machine is given a female name for good luck.
To come up with the best name we ran a naming competition for Newham primary school children, and hundreds of youngsters rose to the challenge.
“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!”
Other suggestions included ‘Milly’ as the tunnel will run to Abbey Mills, ‘Victoria’ as London’s sewage system was built in Queen Victoria’s reign, and ‘Florence’ after Florence Nightingale. There were also more unique suggestions including the ‘Rotacular Poo Polisher’ and ‘Thames Wato-Saurus’. Celebrity-inspired names included Rihanna, Janet Jackson and Kate Middleton.
Our chief executive Martin Baggs, Councillor Andrew Baikie, deputy mayor of Newham and Lawrence Gosden, our head of capital delivery judged the 232 entries.
Maryland Primary School has been awarded with £5,000 of prize money. And joint runners-up Central Park Primary School and Essex Primary School will both receive £1,000 of support each.
Thames Water engineers and sewer workers visited over 1,500 primary school children during the competition to talk about the project and explain the history of London’s sewer system and ‘the story of poo’.