As long-standing readers may have realised, I have a fondness for ventilation pipes. Some are rather elaborate, such as the listed example in New Cross; by contrast, the sewer stink pipe is usually more unassuming. These pipes were designed to allow gas to escape the sewers and disperse high above our heads. It's a vital function, but not a glamorous one.
Easily mistaken for lamp posts when they're noticed at all, the stinkpipe can seem the poor relation among street furniture. However, they are often worth a little attention and I've featured one of these Victorian gems from Deptford. New blog London Stinkpipes has gone further and aims to map examples from all over South London. You can also follow on Twitter.