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R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#1 Posted : 18 July 2011 15:50:50(UTC)
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First of all may I just say that much of what will be included in this thread will be taken from historical documents and photos that I have in my possession?
 
I neither wrote any of the documents nor took any of the photos. All this was done before I was born.
 
The thing with history is that it took place a long time ago and the only way we can revisit it is by use of old documents and photos.
It is no use saying that that is in some way cheating; that is just how it is.
 
As I have said before I know that Anne Boleyn had her head cut off. I wasn’t there but I know that it happened; it is part of our history.
 
Similarly the happenings in the Goyt Valley are part of our more local history and with the help of Shallcross and maybe a few others we will tell the tale of the flooding of the valley.
 
Any current or old photos of the valley would be most welcome.
 
I shall start tomorrow.
 
R. S-S
gritch  
#2 Posted : 19 July 2011 13:44:31(UTC)
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Looking forward to this thread !!       I, for one, am waiting......patiently!

   

Green_Gentleman  
#3 Posted : 19 July 2011 14:14:55(UTC)
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In the 'Goyt Valley Romance' book written by Gerald Hancock there is mention of a flash-flood in the upper sections of the Goyt, including a picture of a damaged Coal Mine near to Goyts Bridge taken in 1930.

R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#4 Posted : 19 July 2011 16:27:00(UTC)
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The 1930 flood caused major damage in the Goyt Valley.
 
The first place in Whaley to be hit was Botany Bleach works where the men in number 2 department (Germany) had to climb on the roofs of some of the buildings for safety’s sake.
 
Folklore has it that bales of cotton were washed as far away as Stockport. A bit doubtful that but some were retrieved from Whaley park.
 
The two reservoirs have made a reoccurrence of the event more unlikely but there was significant flood damage to the Botany in the 90’s after weeks of rain followed by a cloud burst.
 
R. S-S
 
RockBanker  
#5 Posted : 19 July 2011 16:27:10(UTC)
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The topic reminds me of an event that happened some years ago. The family had gathered for tea at my uncle’s house, and the conversation came round to the subject of the Goyt Valley reservoirs and how upset my Grandfather had been at the loss of so many of his favourite places when the valley was flooded, and what a beautiful place it used to be. A young lady, who had just joined the family through marriage became increasingly agitated during the conversation and finally burst out “I can’t believe that all you good Methodists (that shows how long ago it was – when someone might have considered me a good Methodist) are upset about losing some pretty walks – What about all the poor people who must have drowned!”. It took several minutes to calm her down and explain that they were given plenty of notice as to what was going to happen, and had moved out months before. To this day, if we ever want to take the rise, we only have to ask her about “The poor people who must have drowned”.

Rock "Yellow Alert" Banker

TheShallcrossCode@hotmail.co.uk
Lady Madonna  
#6 Posted : 19 July 2011 19:36:00(UTC)
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What a coincidence, I have just found a book today in Buxton called the 'Goyt Valley Miner' by Kevin Dranfield, there are pictures that show the devestation of the flood, the mine refered to in the 'Goyt Valley Roamnce' book must be Castedge Mine which was devastated after the water came down Shooters Clough following the cloudburst of 30th August 1930. The book is a history of coal mining in the area and the Hewitt family. I too am looking forward to reading more and seeing any photos.
Lady M.
gritch  
#7 Posted : 19 July 2011 19:39:56(UTC)
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The first place in Whaley to be hit was Botany Bleach works where the men in number 2 department (Germany) had to climb on the roofs of some of the buildings for safety’s sake.

Manchester Guardian's account of the flood of 1930 ....

File Attachment(s):
Botany Bleach Works 1930.pdf (64kb) downloaded 211 time(s).
R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#8 Posted : 20 July 2011 08:57:11(UTC)
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That is fantastic work, Gail,
 
Just the sort of response we want on here. I have a photo somewhere of the Great Flood in the Park on that day. If I can find it later I’ll put it on this thread although it is a bit off topic.
 
Once again thanks I’ve not read that article before.
 
R. S-S
R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#9 Posted : 20 July 2011 09:20:12(UTC)
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Before we start we need to have a brief outline of the history of water supplies for this area. I’ll keep it as short as possible; it really should take pages but I think people would lose interest if they haven’t done already that is.
 
So very briefly:
 
You may think, with good cause, that the reservoir at Fernilee was constructed to supply water to the inhabitants of Whaley Bridge. Not so. And, once again, Toddbrook and Combs are not reservoirs for drinking water; they are simply there to supply the canal.
 
Prior to 1825 the water supply of the inhabitants of Stockport was obtained from springs and wells in various parts of the town.
In that year an act of Parliament was obtained, entitled:
“An Act for better supplying with water the Town and Township of Stockport, the Township of Brinnington and several other Townships adjoining thereto, in the Counties Palatine of Chester and Lancaster”
 
In 1850 a Joint Stock Company was formed and known as the Stockport Waterworks Company under the Chairmanship of Mr. Henry Marsland, a former Member of Parliament for Stockport.
There followed a series of other water companies and in 1861 Stockport District Waterworks Company was formed and obtained itself and Act of Parliament to supply water to Stockport.
This new company was headed by Mr. William John Legh of Lyme Hall.
Under this Act Horse Coppice Reservoir was constructed in Lyme Park and one bed of sand Filters at High Lane.
In 1863 the Companies were amalgamated and known as Stockport District Waterworks Company.
In 1872 a second reservoir was constructed at Lyme Park: Bollinhurst Reservoir
 
It was soon found that the available sources were inadequate to cope with increasing consumption and that extensions were necessary.
The Water Corporation obtained, via Parliament, powers to construct reservoirs in the Kinder, Sett and Hollingworth Clough Valleys.
The dam across the River Kinder was designed by James Mansergh & Sons. Tenders were invited and the contract was awarded to Abram Kellet.
The contract was to commence on May 22nd 1903 and to be completed in 7 years.
There were lots of problems with foundation works and in 1907 the masonry dam was abandoned in favour of an earthwork embankment type.
G H Hill & Sons were appointed Engineers and Basil Mackenzie (keep an eye on that name) was to carry out the works. As the completion date was fast approaching work had to carry on 24 hours a day and instead of filter beds a mechanical filtration plant was built.
The reservoir first overflowed on January, 16th 1912 but was officially opened on July 11th, 1912.
 
Once again it quickly became obvious that these water supplies from the reservoirs were good but not adequate.
 
So now it was time to find further reserves and the Water Board looked to the valley above Whaley Bridge.
 
R. S-S
 
 
gritch  
#10 Posted : 20 July 2011 13:17:53(UTC)
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Appreciate your comment to my earlier post - cheers.

Thank you for setting the scene in a concise yet informative manner - this has made me wonder if  the threat of the imposed reservoir schemes had played a major part in the decision for the family from Intake to emigrate.

I have found further snippets of information which may be of interest but shall post them when I think it  relevant.

Gail

shallcross  
#11 Posted : 20 July 2011 22:57:40(UTC)
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This is The Hollows as you look at the picture the Powder Mill was to the left and Oldfield farm was to the right, in todays terms if you were to stand about 150 yards from the dam on the old railway line looking over the water thats about where this photo was taken.

File Attachment(s):
B Fernilee - The Hollows 01.jpg (454kb) downloaded 231 time(s).
Shallcross
R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#12 Posted : 22 July 2011 16:16:07(UTC)
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The Dale of Goyt proved to be too much of a chance to miss for the Water Board.
It was just perfect.
It had an enormous catchment area and was fairly remote.
The Chilworth Powder Mill had closed and farms and houses could be bought cheaply enough.
There was just a small village nearby: Fernilee, so called after “ferny-lea” an open pasture land abounding with scented ferns.
 
So plans were put in place to construct a dam across the valley.
There were other contracts which we shall delve into later.
 
 
But first as in all major contracts there were preliminary works and site set ups to consider before work commenced.
At the same time as Fernilee Reservoir was in the planning stages there were also plans to construct Errwood Reservoir. A lot of people think that Errwood was thought about years later but this is not the case at all; Errwood was always going to happen and was on the drawing board with Fernilee.
The valley was too long and extensive to have just one dam.
But Errwood was constructed some 30 years after Fernilee.
 
I really have no idea how they managed to plan, programme, cost and construct Fernilee and all the associated works so long ago. It would be a test even today with modern equipment, computers, laser levels etc. None of which they had in the 1930’s.
 
There was also a shortage of labour in the area and there were no known dam builders from Fernilee and the surrounding areas. But shortage of suitable local labour was not a problem.
 
There was access to a labour force of Navvies who would live on the job.
So I imagine the first job would have been the site set up which would consist of housing for these men. I don’t know how many were employed at Fernilee; probably hundreds and so a temporary village was built for them to live in.
This was constructed on the road down to the dam and these temporary villages were known as Tin Towns because of the corrugated iron used in the building of the huts.
The Navvies were not popular wherever they set up camp as locals perceived them as heavy drinking, foul mouthed and uncouth womanisers so they were almost confined to barracks for the duration of each job.
 
At some of the larger projects in the country housing comprised of dormitories for the single men and smaller huts for married men with families. Some had hospitals, a school, a Post Office, greengrocers, cobblers, tobacconist, bath house and even a small police station.
These were for schemes when the workforce numbered into the thousands. Fernilee was a much smaller job but one thing it probably did have was a canteen with an alcohol licence. They all had one of those for it kept the men on site and they were not roaming around the local pubs. Licences were granted by the local authority for the duration of the job.
 
The work was hard and conditions were sometimes harsh, health and safety was almost non existent. Pay would have been a few pounds a week and hours were long.
 
Below are 2 photos of the Tin Town at Fernilee and one of the ‘canteen’ at another large reservoir construction site.
 
R. S-S
 

shallcross  
#13 Posted : 22 July 2011 18:03:11(UTC)
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This is looking up the valley before construction towards Errwood, you can see the road as it crossed the Valley, notice the tents on the left, not the flatest area to pitch a tent. 

Edited by user 23 July 2011 09:53:23(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

shallcross attached the following image(s):
Goyt_0001.jpg
Shallcross
shallcross  
#14 Posted : 22 July 2011 18:05:29(UTC)
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A Full list of the contractors.

Shallcross
shallcross  
#15 Posted : 22 July 2011 18:06:31(UTC)
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A Full list of the contractors.

shallcross attached the following image(s):
Goyt_0003.jpg
Shallcross
R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#16 Posted : 22 July 2011 18:23:07(UTC)
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Hi Shallcross,
 
Many thanks for that; we are obviously reading the same hymn sheet.
Could I ask that you don’t post copies of the reservoir details: depths and capacities etc as I would like to discuss them in more detail later?
 
One thing I am sure you will be able to clear up for us though is the question of Mr. Basil Makenzie who seems to have been the sole contractor on the Kinder scheme.
Is Basil the same person who is part of the Company Lehane, Makenzie and Shand the contractors for the Fernilee and later Errwood schemes?
 
R. S-S
gritch  
#17 Posted : 22 July 2011 21:05:18(UTC)
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......the question of Mr. Basil Makenzie who seems to have been the sole contractor on the Kinder scheme.  Is Basil the same person who is part of the Company Lehane, Makenzie and Shand the contractors for the Fernilee and later Errwood schemes?

I personally cannot answer question,

but I did find a mention in Kelly's Directory 1912 a commercial entry in the Kinder district of Hayfield.....

"Stockport Corporation Water Supply Co. (Basil MACKENZIE, manager)"

and also   

 " HAYFIELD RURAL DISTRICT COUNCIL -  Chairman, Basil MACKENZIE, Tomstead, Hayfield".

Was there any known local opposition to the "Goyt Valley Water Scheme" ? -

There  seems to be quite a lot mentioned in the Manchester Guardian, coming from as far away as Belfast(!) and some from a resident who called himself "Goyt Bridge" amongst others.

( I have these on file if interested)

 

G. Jackson  
#18 Posted : 23 July 2011 13:20:02(UTC)
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Well done R. S-S,

The photos are very good, how I remember going to the shop in the first picture, it sold tobacco and cigarettes and Mrs.Burfitt ran it.  We couldn't buy  cigarettes from the shops locally as all the shopkeepers knew that we were just under-age but Mrs. Burfitt didn't know us so we all went there.

R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#19 Posted : 23 July 2011 13:33:21(UTC)
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gritch wrote:

......the question of Mr. Basil Makenzie who seems to have been the sole contractor on the Kinder scheme.  Is Basil the same person who is part of the Company Lehane, Makenzie and Shand the contractors for the Fernilee and later Errwood schemes?

I personally cannot answer question,

but I did find a mention in Kelly's Directory 1912 a commercial entry in the Kinder district of Hayfield.....

"Stockport Corporation Water Supply Co. (Basil MACKENZIE, manager)"

and also   

 " HAYFIELD RURAL DISTRICT COUNCIL -  Chairman, Basil MACKENZIE, Tomstead, Hayfield".

Was there any known local opposition to the "Goyt Valley Water Scheme" ? -

There  seems to be quite a lot mentioned in the Manchester Guardian, coming from as far away as Belfast(!) and some from a resident who called himself "Goyt Bridge" amongst others.

( I have these on file if interested)

 

 

 

Once again excellent stuff from Gail,
 
I would be very interested to read any of these objections Gail, particularly the one from Goyt Bridge.
 
R. S-S
gritch  
#20 Posted : 23 July 2011 22:34:10(UTC)
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Letters were written throughout 1929 to the editor of the Manchester Guardian opposing Stockport's plan for the Goyt Valley.

Here are just a few.

I will add articles for Stockport Corporation's proposals which appeared in the Guardian and then  letters which refer to those particular articles later.

 

File Attachment(s):
1. Aug & Sep 1929 letters from Belfast.pdf (197kb) downloaded 134 time(s).
2. Oct 12 & 15 1929 letters.pdf (171kb) downloaded 65 time(s).
3. Oct 16 & 18 1929 letters.pdf (157kb) downloaded 58 time(s).
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