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Author Topic: Brompton Reservoir  (Read 6863 times)

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Offline kyn

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Re: Brompton Reservoir
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2012, 23:34:36 »
Well found Merc!

merc

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Re: Brompton Reservoir
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2012, 20:48:41 »
Friday, July 28, 1871

Some alterations are to be made in the water supply to Chatham Dockyard. Up to this time water used by the residents in the yard for domestic purposes, and in the boilers for the machinery, was pumped from the wells in the yard by the engine at the saw-mills and the dock engine into a reservoir constructed on Brompton-hill. But in consequence of complaints by the resident officers a short time ago samples of water from each well were sent for analysis at Woolwich. The result of the analysis was to prove that the water from St. Mary's Island and that supplied by the dock engine were not fit for human use, but the water pumped at the saw-mills was very fair in quality. On these facts being represented to the authorities it was resolved that the water from the saw-mills should be reserved solely for domestic purposes, and the other water used for the machinery. This requires an alteration to be made in the reservoir, and workmen are now engaged upon it erecting a parting wall. One side of the reservoir will be for pure water, the other for that sent up by the dock engine, and mains will also be laid from St. Mary's Island to the reservoir, as the supply from the dock engine alone would not be sufficient to keep the machinery at the yard at work. Should it be eventually be found that the water for the residents is not of sufficiently good quality a supply will be obtained from the Chatham Water Company, which now supplies the barracks.

From The Times.

Offline Leofwine

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Re: Brompton Reservoir
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2012, 08:59:40 »
Thanks kyn, that also explains why the retaining wall was built I think. I assume best water would be drinking water, and inferior water would be non-drinking water (firefighting, cleaning, etc.)
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Offline kyn

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Re: Brompton Reservoir
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2012, 07:14:36 »
Just about, they are 248,374 Gallons Inferior water and 236, 506 Gallons Best water.

Offline Leofwine

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Re: Brompton Reservoir
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2012, 01:48:05 »
kyn, your plan seems to show the capacity of the reservoirs, but I can't quite make them out, are they more readable on your original image?
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Offline Leofwine

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Re: Brompton Reservoir
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2012, 01:45:52 »
The land this was built on was Admiralty land they had owned since (I believe) the reign of Queen Anne or earlier. Sometime around 1828-1832 a reservoir was built to supply water to the Dockyard. The original reservour was smaller than the one shown in kyn's map, as this plan from 1841 shows:

1841


In 1855 it was drained and rebuilt with a greater storage capacity, as shown on the 1866 Town Planning map. This increased capacity was probably because of the Dockyard Extension works which began at around this time, which meant the yard would have a greater demand for water. It proved to be a useful improvement when, in 1856, during the construction of No. 2 basin in Chatham Dockyard, the contractors (Messrs J & C Rigby) cut through the main sping of the district. This not only flooded their work, it also caused the wells of Brompton to run dry, much to the consternation of its inhabitants. Harris (1923) gives a vivid description of what happened next:

The Naval Authorities came to their rescue; and at noon every day a stand pipe was fixed in the roadway near to the Government Reservoir, at the top of Barrack Hill, and the inhabitants came to it with every kind of vessel, capable of holding the precious liquid, and obtained their supply for the day. Pails, barrels, stone bottles, washtubs and even wash-stand jugs were put into requisition for the purpose, and the noon-tide gathering would have mad a picture worthy of Hogarth.

1866


At some point between 1870 and 1883 (I have not yet managed to find the actual date) it appears that a dividing wall was added to the reservoir, making to separate basins out of the previous one large basin.  It remained in this general form for the next 90 years or so:

1885


1909


1932


1960


In the mid to late 60s it was no longer needed by the Admiralty, and in about 1966/67 (i am still trying to confirm the exact date) it was drained. Gillingham Borough Council then acquired the site and the reservoir was filled in with rubble from the demolition of the old Melville Hospital/Barracks. By about 1969 the site had been levelled (except for the tall bank facing Prospect Row) and the memorial playground was transferred, from the corner of Manor Street, to the site in about 1970/71 (again, I am still trying to confirm the date).

1970


Since that time it has remained a children's playground and has been known by many, including Brompton Play-park, "Green Ernie" (apparently after a groundsman who looked after it named Ernie Green!) and even, somewhat grandly, the 'village green.'
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Offline kyn

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Brompton Reservoir
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2012, 21:35:20 »
1883

 

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