THE HUDDERSFIELD WATER WORKS.
The prosperity and depression, mis-doings and right-doings, embarrassments and successes which have chequered the career of the Huddersfield Water Works Commissioners have hitherto been so veiled from the garish eye of the public, have been so little subjected to the consideration or contemplation of the inhabitants of this rapidly-extending town, that we own we feel no slight pleasure in being able to set before our readers a statement — cursory though it be, remembering the importance of the subject — of what these gentleman have been, and now are accomplishing.
On Easter Monday, the Improvement Commissioners, the Press, and some others of the townsfolk, accepted the invitation of the Water Works Commissioners to inspect the works at Longwood ; and through the exuberance of the “profits on plumbing,” the “boring,” “reserving,” and “compensating” fraternity were enabled to convey their guests in first-class style to the Golcar Station of the London and North-Western Railway, where they arrived at two o‘clock. The party threaded its way up the steep and miry avenues that intersect the clusters of cottages rising bruskly out of the hill side high above Golcar Station, and — greatly to the astonishment and delight of rows of 'kerchiefed heads and wondering mouths, which seemed to regard the visitation of the collective wisdom of the “limits” as alike mysterious and amusing, if not unlimitedly audacious, on such a gusty afternoon—at length, leaving Longwood Chapel-of-Ease in loneliness to the left, the company emerged in the moist vicinity of Bunney Clough Spring. Here the watchful clerk mounted the quay wall, and, poising himself with his umbrella, told his fellow-travellers that the entire of the refreshing proceeds from this gushing beck, beyond what trickled through an inch and a quarter aperture to the aborigines below, sped off to the water consumers of Huddersfield. In the field bounded by this spring, and the land of which belongs to Sir Joseph Ratcliffe, who receives £5 a year in consideration of the water tapped off by the Water Works Commissioners, were discovered three of the borings recently commenced. The crystal offering which leapt out of the mountain with unabashed exhilarating frankness was carefully coaxed into a capacious reservoir a couple of fields off, on its way mingling with the new-found aqueous affluence of neighbouring “bores.” When the entire cohort, chairmen, clerks, “men of letters,” and attendants had straddled over the clayey partition of this moist mead, the adjoining field disclosed some workmen, screened by canvass from the boisterous wind, “tapping” or “boring” the mountain for water as thirstily and assiduously as if the sky was not bloated and leaden, the wind “in the rain’s mouth,” and the murmer of water incessant. The gates to the Old Store Reservoir were now unlocked, and the company sauntered on to its brim, watched the winds dance upon the surface of the pellucid artificial bay, studied the gauge, listened to a venturous lark boldly cat oiling far over bead in spite of the fierce wind, peeped through the coloured window of the summer house, watched the water-cresses grow in a quiet corner away from the conserved water, and heard the authorities discourse upon the sources quantities, and constituents of the fluid vigorously pouring in to be cherished and guarded so well by the Commissioners The facts and figures of the water supply, &c., we leave to be narrated by Mr. Thomas Firth, jun., and other gentlemen, who so patiently wound their way through the interesting labyrinth, as may be seen in the conversation recorded below. A visit was next paid to the New Store Reservoir, the construction of which — about double the size of the first named — the watery “hosts” declared to be their chef d’oeuvre, the massive banks of which, when the Chairman of the Improvement Commissioners was cautiously wending his way down, could not restrain certain facetious members of the “board” from adverting to sundry “railway recollections.” Around the borders of this tank, and protected from being injured by or injuring the limpid element, some deer scampered about ; and we heard that the day was marked by the establishment being increased by the birth of a brace of fawns. Some of the more adventurous of the party took a trip to the Mill-owners’ Compensation Reservoir, able to contain almost as much since its enlargement as the New Store Reservoir. From one corner of this compensation runs a bye-wash, twelve feet broad by four deep, down which roars the product of a 10-inch pipe for the benefit of the mill-owners of the Longwood valley. Farther down this water course, and near Hattersley’s new mill, approaching Longwood Railway Station, is Clough Head spring, on land belonging to Miss Clara Thornhill The purest water comes from this source, and, so copious is it, that for days it alone suffices for the entire demand of the town.
The Party then adjourned to the dwelling-house erected within the boundary of the New Store Reservoir, and par-took, under the presidency of Mr. Thomas Kilner and Mr. Georg Crosland, of some tea, and “trimmings” of the substantial character of fowls, ham, tongue. &c., &c. bounteously furnished. When the repast had been fully discussed, wine, &c., were placed upon the tables, and “business” began. We noticed among the gentlemen present T.P. Crosland, Esq., Messrs. T Kilner, G. Crosland, W. Barker, T. Ibberson, Jere Kaye, W. Moore, W. Batley, C.H. Jones, Jonathan Martin (C.E. of Reading), W. Greenwood, J. Bradshaw, T. Blenkhorn, T. Firth, jun., B. Robinson, J. Labrey, A. Walker, James Booth, J. Boothroyd, Joseph Turner, Jabez Brook, Joseph Kaye, L. Walker, J.J. Roebuck, W. Mellor, F. Shaw, B. Thornton, J. Beaumont, sen., C. Hare, T.A. Abbey, &c., &c.
The Chairman (Mr. Thomas Kilner) called upon
Mr. Thomas Firth, jun., to address the assembly. When the applause which greeted the rising of that gentleman subsided, he said he took it for granted that they had met partly for business and partly for pleasure. Hence he surmised that it might prove an agreeable way of spending a few minutes if he attempted to trace a little of the rise of the town Huddersfield, commencing with his coming thither in 1819, and opening a shop. It was about the same time the present postmaster arrived — (Mr. Moore: “You’re right. ‘Twas the first flare of legitimate light Huddersfield ever had.” Loud laughter.) Prior to his (Mr. Firth’s) advent, the description he had of the poverty and inaction of the town was, “If a person dropped down dead on one market day he would not be picked up till the next market day. Nevertheless, on the longest day in the year just mentioned he entered the town from Leeds. The entrance into Huddersfield thence was through a ginnel near the Gas Works. Passing the Penfold the visitor encountered the Cow Market, and then another ginnel, called “Firth’s Corner,” through which one carriage only could pass at once. This was the grand entrance to Kirk Gate. (Hear, hear.) The church yard was open to the public, and its wall was a rendezvous where men and boys passed many a noisy hour. After beating up the Strait of Kirkgate the Market Place was reached. Here butchers had their stalls, green-grocers held sway, and “Mrs. Kershaw” reigned in placid glory. (Laughter.) Here, too, stretched a long row of shoemakers' stalls on market days New Street was dignified by but two shops — bucksters — one of which contained a low gate, to which a bell was hung to apprise the drowsy in-mates when a customer sauntered in. A short turn up High Street and Manchester Street, conducted to Outcote Bank, where ended the town. Huddersfield had a “sea-serpent” look then, and no houses of moment stood out of this old thoroughfare from Leeds to Manchester. One coach from Leeds came during the day, and one from Wakefield, the passengers in both breakfasting at the Rose and Crown, whence one coach went onto Liverpool. Probably “Old Daniel,” the coachee of the “Cornwallis,” and “Neddy Riley”, the polite attendant of the same would be gratefully remembered by some present. (Applause.) On one Tuesday a person lost a gold coin somewhere near Kirkgate, and on coming into town on the following Tuesday he looked and actually found the identical piece of money, cool and undisturbed, (laughter) fulfilling the saying above adverted to, and showing in what a weakly state the place was. (Continued laughter.) Those days were enlightened by few lamps and no gas : the folks objected to gas, but the speaker began the use thereof. He had seen a blind man driving down Kirkgate, and another sightless guide conducting a flock of geese down the same, thoroughfare. In the Market Place be had seen a couple of hedgehogs quietly folded up, and on another occasion a fox strayed into the same thriving mart. Often since had he seen the “Commissioners’ band,” a regiment of milk-laden donkies which assembled near South Parade, but in those halcyon days such troops were not requisite. Postal proceedings were perhaps not of the most expeditious, for the public letter deliverer was an old woman, who could not read manuscript. A mail left London for the north at nine in the morning, and reached Leeds early the next day but one. Here Huddersfield letters were secured by an armed equestrian, who, after going over the ground with all proper prolixity, reached his destination. It was time the town had one Moore to guard its letters. (Laughter.) Now for the water. In 1819 they had water pipes ; the town could hardly be said to have water works, for the cisterns then in vogue were often nearly useless. The main source of supply was Bradley Spout, where trains of can bearers from the middle and lower classes of the inhabitants bided their turn amid squabblings and brawlings and fightings, sometimes somewhat fierce. At length an act of Parliament was obtained, and commissioners to the number of 100 or 120 named to carry out its provisions. The late Sir John Ramsden’s opposition was very great ; equally so that of the millowners. The old commissioners were reduced to very few, though that few were very regular in attending the meetings. They were no close corporation it should be known. The water works were erected for the benefit of the town and not for the private emolument of a few. (Applause.) The commissioners were responsible to the public for the discharge of their duty. By clause 36 of their act it was enacted that auditors of their accounts should be publicly appointed ; and by the next clause that the statement of the accounts should be annually sent to the clerk of the peace, printed, and supplied to each tenant at the cost of 3d. Honourable mention must be made of individuals who had devoted a deal of time and talent to the prosecution of the excellent work of providing a good and adequate supply of water to the town. To the late Benjamin Bradshaw and the late Thomas Wrigley the present generation, was deeply indebted. (Loud cheers.) There were some veterans in that room also who ought to be referred to, — Thomas Ibberson, William Batley, Joseph Kaye, George Crosland, Thomas Hayley, Joseph Beaumont, and last, though not least, their indefatigable chairman, Thomas Kilner. (Reiterated applause.) In 1826 Nicholas Brown, of Wakefield, reported that Huddersfield contained 7,800 inhabitants, Paddock 1,800 — 9,600 ; gravely calculating that in 20 years the population would rise to 12,000! who would consume — allowing ten gallons a-day to each individual — 120,000 gallons of water a-day ; so they deemed themselves pretty safe for a time at all events. But look at Huddersfield in 1854, with 30,000 population, fine shops and beautiful streets, brilliant by night and by day, and fit to be put in class A in comparison with any other town. (Applause.) In 1819, of long chimneys there was not one ; yet now, look at the public buildings, the churches, chapels, public schools, railway stations, infirmary, cemetery, model lodging-houses — the last better than any union workhouse — look for themselves and say if the spirit of improvement had not kept pace with the times, in this their beautiful locality, during the years the country had been blessed with European peace? (Cheers.) But a cloud just now crossed the scene, and our nation was engaged in a war which would roll back the tide of civilisation, stop the streams of charity, render many a home desolate, and check commerce. Oh! that all might soon again bask in the blessings of peace. (Applause.) Continuing the consideration of the water question be found that in 1852 the fall of rain was 43.84 inches ; in 1853, 31.96 ; in 1854 but 28.23, occasioning by the great decrease the severe drought experienced last season. In January, 1853, the fall of rain was 5.2 ; during the same month of 1854, 2.70 ; and 1853, 0.43. During February, 1853, it was 6.80 ; the same month in 1854,1.70 ; and in February, 1855, 0.34. In March, 1853, the fall was 2.20 ; 1854, 1.6 ; and during last month 1.6. Thus tor the first three months of 1853 the fall was 13.2 ; for the like period in the following year 5.46 ; and during the present year it had declined to 1.83. They had therefore seen the reservoirs after a fall in three months of about an inch and three quarters of rain. The old store reservoir when filled held 25,000,000 gallons, and the new one 45,000,000 to 70,000,000, or equal to 200,000 gallons per day for a year. The new borings would on the average yield 100,000, and the old sources another 100,000 ; whilst Clough Head and some other springs would make the total supply 600,000 every 24 hours, or 20 gallons per head per day, or 100 gallons a day for a family of five. (Loud cheers.) The Water Works Commissioners were obliged by their act of parliament to supply every applicant in the town with this sanitary necessity. (Hear, hear.) The area of the old store reservoir was 3a. 1r. 34p., 22 feet deep, and contained 20,299,134 gallons when full. The outer slope of its embankment was 3 feet horizontal to one foot vertical ; the greatest width at the bottom of this embankment being 150 feet, and at the top six feet. The new store reservoir was 30 feet deep ; the embankment built in the same ratio as the other ; its capacity when full 45,000,000 gallons ; and the bottom a close rock. The compensation reservoir held, when full, as required by law, 40,625,000 gallons ; it was 38 feet deep ; and the embankments like those of the other reservoirs three feet horizontal to one vertical. The Spring Street tank was twelve feet nine inches deep, and could contain 392,713 gallons. Special contracts — respecting which so much had been said — existed between the Water Works Commissioners and the following persons :— nine dyers, eight public brewers, seven spirit merchants, 15 innkeepers who brew, 57 innkeepers, 80 beersellers, five beersellers who brew, seven ammonia manufacturers, one maltster, five cloth-dressers, five plasterers, nine livery-stable keepers, eight curriers, three drysalters, one railway station, one scavenger, one slaughter-house, one baker, two gardeners, one brassfounder, one white stone maker, and nine printers — 236 in all, from whom a revenue sprang of £628 12s. 8d. Of this sum the staple manufacture of the district contributed about 1/6 only, or about £171. The cost of works at Longwood was :— the old store reservoir £5,349 14s. 2d. ; compensation reservoir, including enlarging, £7,019 8s. 3d. ; new store reservoir £13,792 19s. 4d. ; Clough Head, £236 9s. 2d. ; Spring Street, £1,120 8s. ; acts of parliament, £2,939 7s. 9d. ; solicitors bills, £912 6s. 9d. ; engineering ditto, £1,590 4s. 10d. ; total outlay in works to 1852, £55,600 9s. 1d. In 1830 the number of tenants was 1,045 ; water rents, £842 18s. 7d. In 1840, 3,557 tenants, £2,010 2s. 6d. rents. In 1839 the rents were lowered 25 per cent, and again in 1841 they underwent a like reduction, so that tenants paid but one-half what they had previously paid. In 1842 the number of tenants was 3,701, and the total rent £1,611 9s. 11d. In 1853 there were 5,418 tenants, and the rent was £2,538 17s. 6d. Last year the rents amounted to £2,917 6s. 7d. From the statements and estimates formerly made by their engineers, it would be manifest with what difficulties the commissioners had had to contend in calculating future demands. (Applause.)
Mr. W. Barker (law clerk to the Water Works’ Commissioners) warmly eulogised the late Mr. Benjamin Bradshaw, under whose regime, aided for a short time by Mr. Wrigley, great success had attended on the undertaking, the distinguishing principle of the Water Works was that it was not a private company, but meant for the good of the whole town. At the time of its inauguration there was no act of parliament based on similarly liberal principles ; and even now it would be found that very few places in the kingdom had works on equally disinterested conditions. The founders jeopardised their money, and got at the outside but 5 per cent on their advances. It was seen, however, that there were deficiencies in the act relative to gauges, only 120,000 gallons a day could be supplied ; but in 1845 these gauges were done away with. To secure the millowners of the Longwood valley against a scarcity of water power, the Water Works’ Commissioners were obliged to construct, and afterwards to enlarge the compensation reservoir. The most important use of the water, however, was in a sanitary point of view ; and as this was of such moment, he hoped the Improvement Commissioners would still be actuated by amicable feelings towards the Water Works Board, for both were trying to benefit the public as far as practicable. When the Water Works’ Commissioners looked into their position after a few years’ existence, instead of feeling it needful to raise their rates, they saw that £10,000 or £12,000 of their outlay on works had been paid off by a surplus current revenue ; and conceiving that the debt was being refunded too rapidly for that generation the rents were lowered 25 per cent, and in two years after (1841) reduced another 25 per cent, instead of paying off the debt ; and not 6d. of it had been paid off since 1815. As a ratepayer he was bound to say that the public should from year to year continue to liquidate a public debt, and not leave it to be met wholly by posterity. Circumstances had occurred that might cause the present generation to entertain this question. Since 1845 the Water Works had been rated by the inhabitants of Longwood at £1,010. The commissioners thought this excessive, and appealed to the attorney-general for the Prince of Wales (Mr. Smirke), who, after some days’ arbitration, reduced it to £495. He heard the other day that the inhabitants of Huddersfield had rated the Water Works. Of course they might be liable in law to be rated ; but he trusted the guardians, or whoever the matter might rest with, would see the propriety of keeping it as low as possible, and so avoid the expense of an appeal. They had been at considerable expense in getting additional water, and whether or not it would be their duty to add a little to the water rate he could not tell. However, if any increase were attempted, it would be but moderate. The debt now was upwards of £40,000. The millowners of Huddersfield had greatly benefited by the Water Works, and they had paid for it ; but another class of men had not paid for it. The doings of the Water Works Commissioners were such as necessarily benefitted their neighbours ; but none had been more benefited than the millowners of the Longwood valley. Formerly, they had a little puddling stream which a thunder shower would cause to swell and disturb the entire of the mills along its banks. Though the commissioners had to construct, enlarge, fill, and pay rates for the compensation reservoir, the millowners had exclusive control over it. (A voice : “They run double time.”) The commissioners would be glad to hear that each mill let for £100 a-year more, for that prosperity must be reflected on Huddersfield. He believed the water in Huddersfield was cheaper than elsewhere ; and from enquiries he understood it to be as pure as any, and next to the principal spring at Malvern ; and whilst the commissioners were obliged to supply the pure liquid to any inhabitant, no ratepayer could be compelled to take it. (Applause.) In 1845 there was a full public meeting held in Huddersfield, which was led by a person of considerable talent and force of character, Mr. Hobson. He (Mr. Barker) there said — if Mr. Hobson and the meeting would only forbear with the commissioners and let them go to parliament and do their best to get some more water for the town, that the commissioners would do their best not to raise the water rents. He gave them his pledge that it should be a very anxious point with the commissioners to avoid increasing the water rents. He believed this remark neutralised a good deal of opposition, and the meeting passed off far more pacifically than was exacted. Now he was not going to shrink from anything he ever said at a public meeting in Huddersfield. They had sedulously and he hoped faithfully endeavoured to carry out what he then said. He was very happy to say the commissioners had always felt as if one of them had said it, had still identified themselves with it, and to the utmost of their power trying to carry out what they then said. Gentlemen would see that at the strongest it was a qualified pledge that they (the Water Works Commissioners) would do their best ; and he must say, that looking back over the past ten years, the board had struggled to do its best. But when he saw them having to pay rates in Longwood and Huddersfield besides going to a considerable expense to get additional water, he hoped, if in the discharge of their duty they should deem it meet to advance the rates, it would not be considered a violation of what had been called a pledge. As yet there had been no violation of any pledge, and he was quite sure there never would be. (Applause.)
Mr. Firth coincided with what the last speaker had just stated, and observed that he was not at all aware of any intention to raise the water rents. There was a committee appointed to investigate these matters, and possibly they might find payers of water rents below the average, and such might be brought up suitably to the general mean. He trusted the meeting would not go away with the idea that a rise was impending in the rates, for he believed no advance would take place.
The Vice-Chairman (Mr. George Crosland), remarked that as the town now got water in so much larger quantity, he believed no change would occur in the rates pay able by water tenants. (Hear, bear.)
Mr. Law Walker said the Longwood towns people wanted to rate the waterworks to the extent of one-fifth of the entire township, though they occupied but one-forty-eighth of that village.
Mr. Barker, alluding to the special contract question, admitted that water, considered as a necessary of life, was of the first consequence, and no other matter should be heeded until a copious supply had been secured to the inhabitants ; but as they could have a surplus supply, it had always occurred to him that by special contracts they were working good in a very important way. Their revenue was about £2,500, and of this £600 or £700, or about a fourth, consisted of income derived from special contracts. Then by being able to grant water for such purposes they promoted the means of employment, and consequently contributed to the prosperity of the town by increasing its productive powers.
Mr. C.H. Jones enquired the minimum and maximum rates of water rent, and if any classification of tenants could be given?
Mr. Charles Hare, clerk to the water works, answered that the rates ranged from 3s. to 30s.
Mr Thomas Ibberson further replied that three-fourths of the water takers did not pay more than 4s. or 5s. a-year.
Mr. Jones thought the rates too low. It would be beneficial to raise them. What was the number of water closets?
Mr. Jabez Brook Nearly 3,000. All were not charged at 10s. each. The number of renters at the present time was upwards of 6,000
Mr. Jones asked for information relative to a stated agreement between the Improvement and the Water Works Commissioners, as to an adequate supply of cheap water closets.
Mr. Barker replied that the Clerk to the Commissioners and the Clerk to the Water Works Commissioners (Mr. Brook), casually met and arranged about the rate to be charged, but no pledge was given. On investigation and experience, however, it was found necessary to depart from that arrangement, and adopt one which was still in practice.
Mr. Brook explained that a resolution was passed by the board respecting this matter at the time alluded to. The income from water closets was from £240 to £250 per annum ; but for years they had not been properly attended to.
Mr. Jones proceeded to say that he was disappointed, as he expected to be, on visiting the grounds. He thought the borings were so near each other that they could not fail to draw from the same source. He was fearful lest in dry seasons one should tap another and the supply fail. He had great satisfaction in meeting them that day, for all that they had done was indicative of a desire to serve the interests of the town, and to answer the purposes for which they were created commissioners, as well as they could. He hoped their efforts would prove successful ; but he was apprehensive that they would not. They must look forward to a different state of things. They were in a state of necessity, and it was not a question of 3s. a rate, but one of constancy and adequacy of supply. A few shillings a-year was of no consequence to a ratepayer, provided that he could get what he wanted. He was convinced that if they advanced their rates they would be doing what they ought — reducing a portion of their debt. If their supply was barely sufficient now, and the population should double in the coming ten years, they would see that as commissioners it was their duty to provide the requisite supply — not only for tenants but for sanitary purposes. Their truest wisdom was in looking before them. If they had not a sufficient constancy of supply, the Improvement Commissioners could not look to them for that desideratum. The improvement board had no desire to be antagonistic with the Water Works Commissioners. His wish in speaking to them was to “set them on their pins,” that the Improvement Commissioners might not be blamed through them. A rumour had spread that the Water Works Commissioners had a want of faith in the new supplies because they had raised the rates of water closets. If the town was to increase all those sanitary appliances would be essential to it. The government inspector, when conversing with the speaker a short time ago, said “The Water Works Commissioners have their business to do, and you (the Improvement Commissioners) have yours. Whatever they do you are bound to see that the town is well supplied with water ; else you will, as you ought to be, blamed ; and you will have to take steps — being a sanitary board — to supply it at once.” If London could supply two millions, surely Huddersfield could supply 40 or 50,000 inhabitants. He, on behalf of the Improvement Commissioners, thanked them for their kind invitation ; and he hoped that if need were for taking yet further steps they would not shrink from the effort, tor the town must have more water than it had had. The speaker proceeded to recommend the Water Works Commissioners, in preference to striving after acts of parliament, to offer £100 as a prize to whoever should discover the best and cheapest mode of getting and bringing water into the town. He concluded by urging upon that board to admit the press to their deliberations, or at least to hear their annual statement read, that the public might see the board was not afraid of showing what they had done. Though they should bo slandered and maligned for what they might do, yet, if honest men, they would not fear when doing right. (Applause.)
Mr. L. Walker fancied the appointment of the committee which had been alluded to was a proof that the commissioner had an eye to the future. He would supply an omission in his friend’s report. The board were deeply indebted to Miss Thornhill and to Sir Joseph Ratcliffe ; but there was one source whence opposition sprang to the great astonishment of himself and his colleagues, because it was from the very individual the doings of the Water Works Commissioners were most calculated to serve — Sir John Ramsden. He opposed the passing of the first act throughout, and was only appeased when it was agreed to allow his demand of £100 a-year for laying the pipes in the streets. For 27 years this sum had been received by Sir John — already amounting to £2,700. (Loud cries of “Shame, shame.”) When the commissioners went a second time to parliament, he again opposed them ; the in 1839 forced them to abandon the field, entailing upon the board the payment of his costs. (“Shame.”) It was patent to all that the extension of the town was attributable to the wide range of the Water Works. There truly would have been no elegant villas tracing the New North Road and other suburbs, where it not for the facile appliances the quickly felt advantages of the Water Works accommodations, when they had tracked those localities with mains. It was indeed surprising that from such a quarter as Sir John opposition should come. On one occasion when the commissioners rebelled against what they considered a very unjust act on his part, he filed a bill in chancery against them.
Mr. Moore, as he and Mr. T.P. Crosland had been the principal promoters of a proper supply of water-closets, conceived it necessary to say a word on this matter. Although a great deal of attention was bestowed on the situation of these necessaries, it could not be otherwise than that some should be placed where they would be turned to but little use. But though water might have been wasted upon them, the very great abuse of them did not show that they were unnecessary. (Hear, hear.) Water closets were a sine qua non to the health of the community and they ought to be extended as far as means would go.
Mr. Ibberson said at present the commissioners were circumscribed rather in their space for boring. But, however plenteous might be the supply, the water should not be wasted.
Mr. Barker stated that a deputation had gone to Meltham in search of a good water source, and the result of their investigation, he thought, proved that if the country people were reasonably dealt with they would come forward and offer no difficulty to any enterprise for obtaining plenty of water. In that locality it was confidently believed on all hands an inexhaustible supply could be secured. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. Roebuck thought the works as at present were very noble and large. He believed that by the now borings the supply of water would be doubled. He was glad to see that all arrangements went to let the inhabitants of Huddersfield get the immediate benefit of whatever was gained by the Water Works Commissioners. Very great praise was due to their engineer, Mr. Crowther. (Applause.)
T. P. Crosland, Esq., presumed that every one, with himself, had been very much gratified with what they had seen that day, and with the report so full of interesting research which they had listened to. He quite agreed with the preceding speakers as to the great importance of a sufficient supply of water to their thriving, beautiful, and, he trusted, largely extending town ; and he hoped the Water Works Commissioners, as the population became more numerous, would continue to supply pure water for every domestic requirement. (Cheers.) He would suggest, if the Water Works Board was fully meeting the demand for domestic purposes — which was their aim — that instead of verging on the duties of the Improvement Commissioners, who were a sanitary board, and flushing the streets and sewers, the Improvement Commissioners should erect an engine, and of themselves cleanse the thoroughfares and water closets and sewers. (Applause ) This was their duty, he believed. The Water Works Commissioners were faithfully carrying out their office in supplying the domestic wants of the inhabitants. It was a question for the Improvement Commissioners and the gentlemen of Huddersfield, whether, by a small outlay, they could not put down an engine and supply themselves, independently, with the means of flushing the town. (Hear, hear.) He hoped that they would have frequent opportunities to see the progress making by such old servants as the Water Works Board ; and that those gentlemen who by their self-denying independence and energy had hitherto carried on and supported these works, would long be spared to give the town the benefit of their maturity of experience and sound judgment. (Cheers )
Mr. Martin, C.E., observed, in response to many calls from the assembly, that Huddersfield as it was now would be no more like Huddersfield 20 years hence than it at present was like its condition 20 years ago. (Hear, hear.) Every phase marked it out as the nucleus of a future large town. With regard to the Water Works he must say they did great credit to the engineer. But in the depths they had gone for a further supply he found they had not descended deep enough. Their present deepest boring was but 32 yards below the surface, and that not a 3-inch bore. Now, if instead of expending their energies on several little efforts they made one deep boring, he imagined they would get more water than from the five borings put together. (Hear, hear.) Let them go down 150 yards, and not too narrow ; and he could see from the surface they had no need to get acts of parliament in order to get plenty of water, for it would then well up abundantly for all wants. (Applause.) He frequently sank wells three times the depth, they had ventured, and then began boring with a 10-inch bore. Here they had but tickled the earth and it had laughed with plenty, as they said in Australia. (Laughter.) He concluded by proposing “Prosperity to the town and trade of Huddersfield.” (Cheers.)
Mr. Wright Mellor returned thanks. He observed that he wished the Improvement Commissioners had some fund whence they could offer the Water Works Board a return dinner. (Hear, hear, and cheers.)
The Chairman said that the present festivities were paid for out of the profits on plumbing. Last year this item amounted to £184 15s. 2d. He went on to wish that Sir John Ramsden had never been paid the £100 a year he claimed. (Hear, hear.) He (the chairman) had never agreed to it and never should.
Mr. Jere Kaye thought if the young baronet were applied to, and that he was shown — as be so easily might be shown — that all the Water Works Board had done was for the benefit of the town, he would most likely forego such a claim.
Mr. Ibberson proposed a vote of thanks to the Improvement Commissioners for so kindly accepting the invitation of the Water Works Commissioners.
Mr. Joseph Beaumont cordially seconded the proposition amidst much applause.
Mr. Jones, in responding, observed that he thought the Improvement Board had not the power to carry out Mr. T. P. Crosland’s useful suggestion. He proposed a vote of thanks to the chairman.
Mr. Foster Shaw seconded the motion.
The Chairman having acknowledged the compliment the whole party retired to the Longwood Railway Station, and reached Huddersfield about nine o’clock.