Tuesday 19 June 2018

Wrath of Poseidon? Flood at history centre amuses Twitter

Don’t worry, the books are fine.

A flood in the foyer of the Institute of Historical Research (Peter Jones/Institute of Historical Research)
A flood in the foyer of the Institute of Historical Research (Peter Jones/Institute of Historical Research)

By Nicola Irwin, Press Association

Potential culprits from Poseidon to a plague of frogs were blamed after a flood at the Institute of Historical Research in London’s Bloomsbury area.

The institute, part of the University of London, started the blame game when it explained it was shut due to a “biblical flood/wrath of Poseidon” earlier this week.

The picture was snapped by Peter Jones, a lecturer in urban history at the IHR, but it was the caption and resulting jokes and puns which drew history Twitter’s approval amid concern for cherished books.

The British Library started referencing old manuscripts among the jokes.

The water went through the floor and threatened the library collection below, although the books were OK. Repeat, the books were fine.

And the jokes kept on coming.

Turns out the cause of the new water feature in Senate House was a blocked pipe somewhere high up in the building.

Although the picture looks like the water is falling from the ceiling, it was actually bursting from the floor like a geyser, and looping back to earth.

A few books suffered a little water damage, although nothing permanent – a little rippling of pages.

The water was “quickly under control”, Hannah Elias, from the institute, told Press Association.

And there might be one shining light from the whole saga.

“The more people who know about us the better,” she said. “It’s great for us to see how humour can connect us to people.”

Press Association

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