WATER 05

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Stanley
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WATER 05

Post by Stanley » 17 Aug 2018, 06:35

WATER 05

As soon as Whitemoor waterworks was commissioned and in full flow it became obvious that good as the supply was it was going to be overtaken by the demands of industry and a growing population. By 1919 a site for a new supply from Elslack Moor had been identified and in 1919/1922 the Park Hill service reservoir was enlarged and supplied from a filter house on Elslack Beck. In 1923 a four inch main was laid to Coates Ward. A contract was signed with a firm called Hayes of the Canal Wharf, Wharf Street, Lancashire Hill, Stockport on the 29th November 1926 for the construction of a concrete basin reservoir lined with asphalt on Elslack Moor, price £139,346. The final price rose to £151,696 after problems were encountered with the geology. The opening ceremony was on 5th of March 1932 and it’s worth recording that there was one death during the construction, the Craven Herald of 4th of January 1929 reported the death of Charles Edward Muxlow of Eshton as a result of an earth slip.
There you have it. When you next turn the tap on or flush your toilet give a thought to all the work and investment that went into providing an adequate supply and investing in the network of pipes and sewers that makes your life so easy compared to the days when you would have had to go to the nearest well with a bucket or put up with the disadvantages of the pail toilet in the backyard. I lived under those conditions when I first went farming in Warwickshire in 1953, we had our own well and my first job every morning was to use a hand pump to lift about 300 gallons of water into the service tank in the attic. Our toilet was outside and a straight drop into a midden that was shared with the animals and had to be carted away onto the fields. In the late 1950s the same conditions existed at Abel Taylor's at Green Farm on Gisburn old track, the pail from the lavatory was emptied into the covered midden in the yard and eventually went out onto the meadows. Apart from what the Victorians called the 'noxious effluvia' you were never alone with a midden toilet. You could hear the rats scuttling about beneath you!
I think the pump house at Whitemoor is now a private residence but I am sure the Yorkshire Water Authority will still maintain the bores as a resource using automatic electric submersible pumps. Elslack reservoir still supplies the service reservoir at Park Hill and in addition we are connected to the wider network of mains pipes.
One last point about the original scheme executed by the Barnoldswick Local Board and later BUDC, it was possible to fund it with local money and repay the loans from the rates. In those days of local autonomy money made in Barlick stayed here and we controlled it. I realise we can't go back but there was a lot to be said for that system!

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