The smell was terrible, Mary had known things would be hard when she married Thomas. But then they moved into Albert St with its open sewer. Every obnoxious thing possible seemed to use the sewer to reach the stinking river at the end of the street. Blood and gore from the slaughterhouse mixed with tannery waste, whilst each morning buckets of human excreter were added to the mixture. While opposite her front door a five foot high mountain of manure was topped up when the weekly cattle market had run its course.
Thomas had been born in the town, Mary was different. The daughter of a disgraced catholic family which had fallen into poverty because of their faith. She had once been minor nobility. Thomas knew how much she loved him, he worked hard to ensure they had enough food and fuel. Today as he unblocked the gap in the wall which allowed the sewer to empty into the river, he had a eureka moment. The next day he visited his brother who worked in the towns foundry. Thomas with his his brother help, designed and built a whole raft of drain covers.