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R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#41 Posted : 05 August 2011 14:22:32(UTC)
R. Stephenson-Smythe
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When the Navvies were put to work at the beginning of the reservoir construction several farms and houses had been compulsory purchased and vacated.
There are photographic records of most of these properties and I am hopeful some will find their way on to this thread.
 
As Shallcross has already pointed out Councillor Padmore fired the first shot and he has posted a photograph of the occasion.
(Now before we go any further may I just advise Chairman Jon that Councillor Padmore’s first shot was not from a .44 Magnum or a rifle but was a shot of dynamite.
I think I’m making things worse here so just ignore this bit please Jon we don’t want you wandering around Horwich End with sticks of dynamite strapped to your waist looking for anti-social behaviour problems)
 
Just as an example of the start of the excavations here are a couple of photos of the site at the beginning.
By the way with regards to the discussion about whether the Chilworth Powder Mill walls were removed I now believe that they were not. Recent evidence suggests that when the water level went right down in 1958 (pre Errwood) you could see the walls and even a farm plough propped up against one of the walls.
 
R. S-S
 
The first photo shows the extent of the walls of the Powder Mill and the second shows the small railway tracks that had been laid and a house to be submerged.
Is that the Hollows Shallcross?
 
Another thing of some interest is the fact that Fernilee village Hall was built from bricks from the Powder Mill but to me the whole works appears to have been built of stone.
Again over to you Shallcross or Gail.
 
R. S-S
 

 

gritch  
#42 Posted : 05 August 2011 15:36:18(UTC)
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R.S-S wrote:   By the way with regards to the discussion about whether the Chilworth Powder Mill walls were removed I now believe that they were not. Recent evidence suggests that when the water level went right down in 1958 (pre Errwood) you could see the walls and even a farm plough propped up against one of the walls.

This extract from  Walking in Peakland by Roger A Redfern  confirms the above: "When the Reservoir almost dried up in the memorable summer of 1959, the old fields grew grass again and sheep were grazing there. An old plough stood by a gateway, where it had been left nearly a quarter of a century earlier."

As to the Gunpowder Mills ...."but to me the whole works appears to have been built of stone"

I can see where you are coming from with this but the buildings appear to be built too evenly for it to be stone - that's how I see it anyway. Bricks have been in existance for centuries and the colour of brick is influenced not only by the chemical and mineral content of the mixture but also how high the temperature was during burning. What does Shallcross think?

Edited by user 05 August 2011 15:38:08(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

shallcross  
#43 Posted : 05 August 2011 17:22:14(UTC)
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RSS & Gail

The Walls that you see in the pictures are the remains of the magazines which were constructed of stone and very thick, all the buildings used in the process or for storage had tin roofs in case of an explosion you wouldn't then get stone roof flags been blown up causing even more damage, but there were  buildings including a chimney that would have been of brick construction and of course it had all fallen into disrepair before construction of the reservoir started and yes that is the Hollows still standing amongst the construction site

The Picture is the start of the works

shallcross attached the following image(s):
IMG_0034.jpg
Shallcross
gritch  
#44 Posted : 05 August 2011 17:30:57(UTC)
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Thanks for that information Shallcross.

I have attached, for pure interest only, some snippets of information regarding evacuation of a couple of farms in the valley plus an advertisement for a farm to let in 1938.

R.S-S I have not as yet received your email address. Once I do, (if I do) I shall forward my email correspondance to date with the photographic society

File Attachment(s):
Farms at Fernilee 1932.36.38..pdf (175kb) downloaded 85 time(s).
R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#45 Posted : 05 August 2011 17:38:51(UTC)
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A very good afternoon to you Gail,
 
Thank you for your response to the photos and indeed the confirmation of the existence of the plough.
 
As regards the construction materials used for the fabric of the buildings at the Powder Mill:
 
I do indeed take your point about the usage of bricks and, of course, you are correct but I would say this;
Most buildings around Whaley, Horwich End, Taxal and Fernilee were of stone construction. The 2 that stick out are Fernilee Church and Fernilee Village Hall which are/were of blue brick.
We know for certain that the bricks for the Village Hall came from the Powder Mill but I will put a photo on below of the Village Hall and a close up of the Powder Mill walls which do seem, to me at any rate, to be of traditional stone construction.
Perhaps the Powder Mill had a certain building that was of brick. I’ll see what I can find out.
 
R. S-S
 

 

gritch  
#46 Posted : 05 August 2011 17:41:36(UTC)
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Yep.......I see it now!
cheers
R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#47 Posted : 05 August 2011 17:47:58(UTC)
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Apologies to Gail and Shallcross your last two posts came on to the forum as I was preparing my last one. I hope there was no confusion.
 
Gail I shall email my good friend Chairman Jon the Whaley One and ask him to supply you with my email address in the next few minutes. Bet you can’t wait.
 
Gail amazingly I was told the story of the moving of the cattle only a couple of days ago and now you have confirmed that also in print; thank you.
 
R. S-S
Adnepos  
#48 Posted : 05 August 2011 21:46:32(UTC)
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I remember reading that when the Hibberts' Farm was due to be flooded, they also moved, with their beasts, to somewhere in Shropshire, by train. This was in a newspaper article but I didn't keep any note about this.

Ferni  
#49 Posted : 06 August 2011 00:09:27(UTC)
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The blue brick was a special hardness, designed to tolerate great temperatures. You can see the bricks in the photo where the men and managers are posed.
Ferni attached the following image(s):
B%20Fernilee%20-%20Powder%20Workers.jpg

Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others -even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#50 Posted : 06 August 2011 08:34:18(UTC)
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Do you know what Ferni?
 
I have got a copy of that very photo and have obviously seen it many many times and I have never noticed the brickwork.
 
What a berk I am but many thanks to you anyway.
 
R. S-S
gritch  
#51 Posted : 06 August 2011 10:29:36(UTC)
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Great photo Ferni.....shows the brick detail very clearly. Thank you.

Adnepos wrote: I remember reading that when the Hibberts' Farm was due to be flooded, they also moved, with their beasts, to somewhere in Shropshire, by train. This was in a newspaper article but I didn't keep any note about this.

Would that be the Hibbert's from Bonsal Farm or  Errwood Farm?

Out of curiosity, is  there a full list of properties and occupants that were affected by the reservoir(s). It could help anyone reading this with their family history, after all,that's what led me to the forum. Just a thought.

Attached is a newspaper clipping dated a couple of months after work began on the construction of Fernilee reservoir for your information.

Edited by user 06 August 2011 16:47:33(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

File Attachment(s):
1932...and that was the Goyt Valley.pdf (389kb) downloaded 75 time(s).
shallcross  
#52 Posted : 06 August 2011 10:49:10(UTC)
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Gail

Maybe a virtual walk around the farms and the families of the Valley would be better served on a thread of its own at some time.

Shallcross
R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#53 Posted : 10 August 2011 14:07:23(UTC)
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Here is a photo of the Chilworth Fire Brigade, such as it was.
 
You will note the stone walls of the works and the flimsy roof construction. This photo reinforces Shallcross’ statement that the roof construction was such that any explosion would be through the lightweight roof and not through the walls.
I am not sure this helped the workers who were in the building at the time though.
 
The walls are still below the reservoir and I will put on more photos as the thread develops showing the workmen working around the Powder Mill.
 
R. S-S

G. Jackson  
#54 Posted : 10 August 2011 14:58:53(UTC)
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Is the photograph at post  #43 the right way round as the flag is upside down. Not a thing you used to see but unfortunately today it is too common.

R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#55 Posted : 13 August 2011 14:07:50(UTC)
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Below is a photo of a crane lifting something from below during the early construction work.
 
Not something we would like to bring to the attention of the Health and Safety Executive I think but as it was 80 odd years ago perhaps they would not be bothered anyway.
 
I believe Shallcross has some exciting photos on this topic and we can only hope he will allow us to see some on this board.
 
By the way Shallcross in all the photos I have on this project most show only a handful of men at work. What were the masses of workers doing and where were they?
 
Tomorrow I will give some data on the comparisons of the various reservoirs commissioned by Stockport.
 
The other thing that I would like to know is the cost of the undertaking. It is variously reported that the cost to the Stockport Water Board was £480,000.00
 
Did this figure represent the cost of the reservoir alone or did it include the Treatment Works, the Suspension Bridge, the Cottages and all the other ancillary works?
I think this may be a question for Gail to answer.
 
R. S-S

gritch  
#56 Posted : 14 August 2011 10:25:18(UTC)
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The construction of the 2 reservoirs in 1930 was said to total £991,000. The attached article gives a total figure of £550,000, for the work carried out on Fernilee reservoir,  with the actual cost of building the dam being £334,000 undertaken by Messrs Lehane, MacKenzie and Shane. The difference between the 2 figures I assume relate to the other costs incurred.

There should be more papers available via Stockport Archives and/or the National Archives, which might provide a more detailed breakdown of costs which would prove interesting. Other than that, I'm afraid that's all I can offer at this time.

Gail

File Attachment(s):
shallcross  
#57 Posted : 14 August 2011 10:47:11(UTC)
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There are a few workers on this one but we shouldn't forget that the site was over 80 acres and men were working all over and in the asociated quarries etc so quite a large workforce.

Shallcross
shallcross  
#58 Posted : 14 August 2011 10:49:53(UTC)
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shallcross attached the following image(s):
IMG_0116.jpg
Shallcross
Gnatalee  
#59 Posted : 14 August 2011 12:01:05(UTC)
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Would just like to say how fantastic these pictures are, particularly no. 55 - a crane which surely looks as though it should topple over the edge at any moment. This is all very interesting. Thank you and keep up the good work !!

Gnats

Edited by user 14 August 2011 12:02:11(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

shallcross  
#60 Posted : 14 August 2011 14:47:42(UTC)
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File Attachment(s):
IMG_0621.jpg (678kb) downloaded 112 time(s).
Shallcross
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