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Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.


Post by Stanley »


I don’t know exactly when the first bore was put down on Whitemoor. The contract for walling the site was let out to the Salterforth Stone and Brick Company (Park Close Quarry) on March 17th 1891 and this was nearing completion in May 1892. The works were officially opened in 1892 as the first project of the newly formed Local Board. The daily output was 150,000 gallons and it fed a service reservoir at Park Hill which held 356,400 gallons. There was more than one borehole at Whitemoor waterworks because Newton Pickles described one as being 96 feet deep and wide enough to climb down. He knew because in 1945 he was down there repairing the clack on the force pump. On the 1st of July 1897 the new Local Board was writing to E Timmins and Company, The Bridgewater Foundry at Runcorn, about a borehole pump for the 170feet deep borehole at Whitemoor which was quoted as being nine and five eighths of an inch in diameter. I suspect this was the first bore and the 96 feet well came later. There is another letter on this subject to Tom Biker, described as ‘Surveyor of Barnoldswick’. Some of the cores from this bore can be seen in Letcliffe Park.
Reading between the lines of the evidence it would appear that in 1892 the decision was taken to install a water carriage sewage system at the same time as mains water. The Local Board called a Town Meeting on the 11th of March 1892 at 10:30 in the morning at the Mechanic’s Institute on Jepp Hill. [Later to become the Town Hall.] It was described as being ‘an enquiry into the supply of water’. I suspect that this was when the Board laid out to the townsfolk the cost of the laying of water pipes and the matter of water charges. I have a note dated 1st March 1894 of an enquiry held in Barlick under W J B Clarke to examine a proposal to borrow £8,000 for the provision of public sewers and other similar meetings in 1896 and 1898 for further sums of £2,000 and £1,850 so I think we can safely assume that from 1890 to at least 1900 almost every street in the town was torn up to lay water and sewage pipes. It must have been chaotic and makes our experiences with Balfour Beatty in 2006 when they refurbished the water mains seem like a picnic.
This isn't the full story of our water. The town was booming and new mills and housing were being built. It soon became obvious that good though the supply was from the boreholes on Whitemoor, demand was outstripping supply. Remember that as more and more housing was converted from the old system of dry toilets and the collection of night soil to water carriage and flush toilets, this also increased demand. We needed more water! Barlick had to look further afield and I'll look at how they solved the problem next week.


The 593ft core from a bore at Whitemoor in Letcliffe Park. It seems from what we know that this was a third borehole put down by the Urban District Council.
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!
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