Look, I’m just gonna come out and say it: England doesn’t have actual hydrants, you guys. (Neither does Ireland, apparently.) It took me a day to come to terms with this tragedy. And to bring myself to photograph one of the sad specimens Brits have in place of the thing most of the rest of planet earth would think of as “the thing you tap to put out fires.”

The “hydrant” pictured is in Westminster, not far from 10 Downing.

As you can see, it has two parts: 1) The black “H” with yellow background on the wall (or on a post if it’s in the country) including two black numbers and 2) The manhole in the ground, where the actual attachment to the water supply resides.

As for the numbers on the sign, I thought a certain Washingtonian might be interested to know that the top number indicates the diameter of the pipe (in millimeters) and the bottom number indicates the distance of the manhole from the sign or post (in meters).

Anyway, this is one of the saddest things I’ve ever had to post. I’m not sure how to properly explain my disappointment. I will spend the rest of the trip drowning my sorrows.

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