Yorkshire Post (28/Aug/1891) - The Huddersfield Waterworks: New Reservoir at Wessenden

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.



Yesterday, in very wet weather, the first sod of the new Butterley Reservoir, one of a series constructed in the Wessenden Valley above Marsden, was cut by Alderman James Crosland, in the absence of Alderman Wright Mellor, the chairman of the Waterworks Committee of the Huddersfield Corporation. The new reservoir will cover 41½ acres of land, and will contain when full no fewer than 400,000,000 gallons of water, and will make the eighth reservoir now belonging to the Huddersfield Corporation, one more principal reserve being to construct at the tail end of this one at some future time. The Corporation of Huddersfield have bought the whole of the rights of the Wessenden Water Commissioners, and have acquired at very great cost the whole of the water area in the Wessenden Valley, the water in which is of a very superior quality both for manufacturing and domestic purposes. The construction of the Butterley Reservoir was planned by the late Mr. John Stanway, who had to a large extent the superintendence of the construction of Blackmoorfoot Reservoir, which will hold 700 million gallons, and is the largest of them all. The work will be earned out strictly on the lines laid down by Mr. Stanway, and the gentleman who has been appoints to superintend the work is Mr. J.E. Hughes, of London, who comes on the strong recommendation of Mr. Thomas Hawksley, C.E.

In order to render the ceremony representative, a number of invitations had been sent out to gentlemen outside the Council, and they included Sir Joseph Crosland, Mr. H.F. Beaumont, M.P., Mr. Joseph Woodhead, M.P., Mr. Summers, M.P., but the latter two were unable to attend the ceremony. Among the gentlemen present were the Mayor (Alderman G. Sykes), Alderman Crosland, vice-chairman of the Waterworks Committee ; Mr. J.N. Sykes, Mr. E. Armitage, Mr. J.W. Robson, chairman or the Huddersfield School Board ; Mr. James Milburn, Chairman of the Huddersfield Board of Guardians ; Mr. G.H. Crowther, the Rev. M. Baroram, the Mayor's Chaplain, Mr. Thomas Hawksley, C.E., and his son, and many members of the Council and others. The guests drove at noon from Huddersfield to Blackmoorfoot, where luncheon was partaken of in the house of the waterworks manager, Mr. Schofield, and great pleasure was expressed at the excellent condition in which the grounds were found. The visitors were then driven to Butterley, and when they arrived there the rain was falling so heavily that it was determined to cut the proceedings shorter than was intended.

The Mayor remarked that no more important or imperative duty devolved upon a municipal body than that of providing the inhabitants with a plentiful supply of pure and wholesome water, because it was essential for the health and well-being of the people. It was by reason of this that the Corporation had at considerable cost and labour obtained an Act of Parliament by which the great watershed in the Wessenden Valley had been secured. The obtaining of the Act was a source of extreme anxiety and labour to himself and colleagues, but they were amply repaid by the knowledge that Huddersfield was absolutely safe for generations to come of a plentiful supply of water. He regretted that Alderman Mellor was not able to be with them, because no one had laboured more zealously and incessantly than he to obtain a good supply of water. He concluded by presenting to Alderman Crosland, on behalf of the Corporation, a solid silver spade suitably inscribed with which to cut the sod.

Alderman Cropland expressed his thanks for the honour conferred upon him, referred to the absence of Alderman Mellor, and said that having been connected with the Waterworks Department of the Corporation all the time he had been in the Council, he had striven earnestly to secure a good supply of water for Huddersfield, and if there was anything of which he was specially proud, it was his connection with the Huddersfield Waterworks. (Applause.)

Alderman Crosland then, amid a drenching downpour of rain, cut the sod and gave a short address. He regretted that the weather was so wet, but it showed them that they were not building the reservoir where there was no water. Having at their head Mr. Thomas Hawksley, he was quite certain that the work would be well done, and he hoped the reservoir would be completed without accident.

On the motion of Alderman J. Brooke, seconded by Alderman Brigg, Alderman Crosland was thanked, and cheers having been given for him and his family, the proceedings closed.

The unfavourable nature of the weather prevented an examination of the site of the proposed works. Carriages were almost immediately re-entered, and the return journey to Huddersfield was made in good time.

In the evening there was a banquet in the Reception Room at the Town Hall, presided over by the Mayor.

The following is a scan of an original article and is made available under the terms of fair use for research purposes.

Yorkshire Post 28 Aug 1891 - The Huddersfield Waterworks.png