When the Lions Drink


Lion’s Head Mooring Rings

When the lions drink, London will sink
When it’s up to their manes, we’ll go down the drains
When the water is sucked, you can be sure we’re all… [in trouble]

Lining the quay along the River Thames, at regular intervals, in central London are these bronzed lion mooring rings. Originally installed as part of a Victorian sewer project, the legend has since grown that they also act as a flood warning system. Superstitious Londoners have come to believe that the lions keep watch on the Thames. The preceding rhyme describes how to interpret their flooding forecast. Thankfully, the lion’s accuracy has not had to be tested, yet. 

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