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Author Topic: Dover Waterworks  (Read 19520 times)

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Offline TowerWill

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Re: Dover Waterworks
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2013, 21:33:41 »
The reservoir would be the one near to the junction of the Old Charlton Road with the Guston Road.I know a bit about the subject but i will not go into it here. Close by is the Duke`s School and what was the old RFC airfield. When I was a youngster I got over the reservoir fence and had a look about. Later on I worked for the farmers who rented the WD land opposite the reservoir.

jonesthenuke

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Re: Dover Waterworks
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2013, 20:19:30 »
I was discussing life in Dover in the 1970s with a friend recently (the topic being various underground locations) and I was reminded that a body was found in a water reservoir. 

A web search found this:-

The trussed up body of murdered Valerie Osmond, missing since 1968, was discovered floating in Dover's underground water reservoir at Guston in 1970. Mrs Osmond was 33 when she went missing from her Temple Ewell home and was the mother of five children. She had been knifed, her body bound by wire to a concrete post and sunk in the town's water supply. The wire had rusted through and her body came to the surface two years later. http://www.dovergrammar.co.uk/archives/papers/2003-11-20-Express.html

Does anyone know any more, particularly about the location at which the body was found? I had assumed that the water supply came from reservoirs on the waterworks site at the top of Connaught Road and I would not have called this a "reservoir at Guston" as stated in the web extract above. My brother remembers rather ghoulish jokes about the "water in Dover having plenty of body", thus reinforcing my assumption that the body had been in the water supply rather than a reservoir for any other purpose.
Thanks, Chris

Offline unfairytale

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Re: Dover Waterworks
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2011, 22:06:48 »
An open letter from the then manager of Folkestone & District Water, to Ivan Green who had written a report on the two steam engines at Dover's Water Works...

Dear Sir.
 I am grateful to Mr Green for putting on record such a succinct description of old water supplies in Dover, but he need not have been so gloomy about the last of the line Worthington-Simpson triples as these have not yet met their end. No. 5056 has been re-erected in Norfolk and No. 5055 remains in its original location where it has been taken over and will be restored to working condition by the Dover Transport Museum Society who have taken a lease of some of the buildings at Connaught Road. Hopefully the engine will be exibited in working order from time to time.

                                                                            
Yours faithfully.
P.A.D. Powell,
General Manager and Engineer,
Folkestone and District Water Company,
The Cherry Garden,
Cherry Garden Lane,
 Folkestone, Kent
CT19 4QB

The letter was written in 1983.
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Offline TowerWill

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Re: Dover Waterworks
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2011, 22:05:50 »
I think that's what i could see from Salisbury Rd. many years ago as it sits on a ridge between old pits.

Offline unfairytale

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Re: Dover Waterworks
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2011, 19:06:59 »
This is the Priory Hill Water Tower shortly after it was converted to a house. I'm unsure of the year though.

When you've got your back to wall, there's only one thing to do and that's to turn around and fight. (John Major)
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Offline TowerWill

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Re: Dover Waterworks
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2011, 10:56:10 »

From Google Earth street scenes.I thought i'd add this photo of the old water tower.Though on the other side of the valley from the waterworks we've been mentioning it on this thread in relation to the waterworks.The old water tower is the white building in the photo's centre and looks like it's had some extensions added.Buildings on the right are in Priory Hill and immediately below is the old chalk pit which used to contain the Castle Harris site(new builds there now).As in much of Dover there's a fortification to be seen in the distance(West Wing Fort on the left hillside).On the other side of the tower is another old chalk pit now used by the Council's cleaning company.The trees have grown a lot in recent years.

Offline TowerWill

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Re: Dover Waterworks
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2011, 18:44:32 »
The tower is not far from us.I think a house one side of the path/steps down to Tower Hamlets Rd/Tower St. from Priory Hill has recently been sold.I don't know if that was the house connected with the Tower though.As far as i know the tower was used for B&B purposes having seen people carrying bags etc along the path.I might be wrong but when i lived down in Salisbury Rd. i think i could see this tower in it's original condition(1950's and1960's) in unpainted brick on the hilltop.

Offline TowerWill

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Re: Dover Waterworks
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2011, 09:46:53 »

From Google Earth street scenes.On this site next to Connaught Road is the capped 2nd well which is connected by a tunnel to the main well.In my young days there was a little shed containing machinery perched on the top of the well.

Offline unfairytale

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Re: Dover Waterworks
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2011, 17:23:20 »
I worked up there for a few months in mid 80s when Dover Transport Museum was based there. One of the carrages from Folkestone's cliff railway was stored there awaiting renovation amongst loads of other stuff. we were shown round the engine house but again...no pics I'm affraid.
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Offline delboy

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Re: Dover Waterworks
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2011, 12:50:56 »
 I can recall visiting the pump room on a school visit, walking up the hill in the early 1950s, and then continuing on to the underground works at the castle. All for 6d. No cameras about those days, not at that age, I,m sure it was when I was at Charlton Primary. delboy

Offline kyn

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Re: Dover Waterworks
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2011, 22:36:05 »
A group visit would be really nice, I like this sort of building and the machinery to go with it! 

Offline Islesy

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Re: Dover Waterworks
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2011, 21:40:34 »
Of course, we should ensure that no one accidentally emails gavin.mchale@veoliawater.co.uk and points him in the direction of this thread. That would be terrible........
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Offline delboy

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Re: Dover Waterworks
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2011, 17:33:58 »
Well done Islely, I look forward to your publication, and do you want a hacksaw or file in the cake, delboy

Offline Islesy

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Re: Dover Waterworks
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2011, 12:53:31 »
The commercial provision of piped, clean water to Dover residents has its origins in the early 19th century, but it was the adoption of the Public Health Act in 1850 that prompted the Dover Corporation to build its own pumping station and reservoir at the top of Connaught Hill.

Up until 1822, water supply in Dover was drawn from wells and pumps in and around the town. Nearly every important house in Dover had a well, and where land was held by the Dover Corporation, households that had no wells were entitled to draw water from the wells of their neighbours. As Dover’s population grew, public wells and pumps were installed around the town; these would have included the Market Place pump, Ladywell pump, Charlton Green pump and the Red pump in the Pier district.

As private wells were closed up, townsfolk were encouraged to use the public pumps and so a local industry of water carting caught on. Utilising large wine barrels mounted on cart axles, water was drawn from public pumps or, more commonly, from the River Dour at Charlton Meadows and Buckland where the water was less polluted. One well known character at the time was ‘Teakettle Tom’ who, having no cart, carried a small barrel on his back and reputedly sold his water to elderly ladies for a penny a kettle.

The growing problem of pollution increased as the wells were closely linked to the soakage from cesspools, and so commercial enterprise stepped in to provide piped water. There were three main suppliers in the town: Mr Walker operating from the Western Water Works based at the Oil Mills in Limekiln Street, The Gas Company drawing a supply from their well in Trevanion Caves and the Priory Hill Water Company that used steam to pump water into a reservoir tower.

None of these enterprises really prospered. Leaky pipes hampered the Priory Hill operation, sometimes limiting them to operating for just an hour or two a day whilst the Gas Company did not try to extend its operation which was really just a by-product from their gas supply business. Mr Walker’s operation was hampered by the fact that his reservoir was too low to create the pressure necessary to extend his supply area, and so in 1850 he purchased a triangle of land from the Crown Estate at the top of Connaught Hill, the intention being to move his works there.

By this point in time, Dover needed not only a clean, efficient water supply but also a decent system of drainage. Inspired by the newly legislated 1850 Public Health Act, the Dover Corporation determined that it would provide just this and settled on the Connaught site, purchasing the land from Mr Walker for £850.00 (£49,750.50 in today’s currency).

A tender for the work was accepted from Mr R. Panling, a civil engineer from Upper Kensington, to complete the work at a cost of £6,864.00 (£401,749.92). This tender was meant to cover the cost of levelling and embanking the site, making a covered reservoir, constructing the pumping house and laying the water mains but unfortunately for Mr Panling his contractor’s business failed in January 1854 after six months work. William Moxon was then appointed to the task in March 1854, completing construction in November of that year.

To reach the water supply two wells about 220 feet deep were  sunk, and headings were driven out horizontally to intercept the springs, the yield of which was estimated to be 5,000,000 gallons per week. The pump house engines and pumps required to raise this water were supplied by the Pimlico firm of Simpson & Co, and comprised two beam engines generating 30hp each and capable of raising 55,000 gallons per hour into the barrel topped reservoir built further up the slope.

Constructed by digging out a great pit 108 feet long by 24 feet wide, the covering of the reservoir is supported by 15 Gothic arches and is capable of holding 500,000 gallons. On its completion, the town mayor, Mr William Henry Payn, celebrated with a civic banquet for 100 gentlemen, and it was held in the empty reservoir. A painting of the interior, showing the tables laid up and ready, is owned by the town and is in the custody of the Town Council.

From 1860 onwards development was needed from time to time to keep pace with Dover’s increasing demand for water. In 1862 a new 1,000,000 gallon reservoir was built, along with a new boiler house and upgraded pumps capable of raising 3,000,000 additional gallons of water per week, whilst in 1882 a third beam engine was installed, followed by upgrades to the original A & B engines in 1898/99.
Because of the additions and improvements, the plant at Connaught functioned adequately through to the 1930s, at which point it became obvious that the machinery was wearing out and would need renewing. Worthington-Simpson of Newark were commissioned to build two new engines, having merged with Simpsons of Pimlico, the original engineers. Work was begun in 1937 and the first new engine, a vertical triple expansion type, first ran in 1939.

A new reservoir was completed in 1940, but work had to be postponed until after the end of the Second World War, the second engine finally running in 1954. These massive engines were the last of their type, and probably the only matched pair in existence. The substantial labour costs associated with the steam pumping of water meant that, despite being virtually unworn, the engines were obsolete by the early 1970s. During this period the Folkestone & District Water Company took over the undertaking, and the engines were replaced by electricity. Following negotiations one of the engines, No. 5056, was purchased by the Forncett Industrial Museum in Norfolk, being dismantled and removed in 1977 by the waterworks staff (who worked their notice on this task).

The remaining engine, No. 5055, remains disused at Dover. Unfortunately, citing security concerns Veolia Water, the current operators of the site, refused our approach to view the engine so we can only guess at its current condition. A sad end for such a historical machine.







© Dover Life Magazine/Paul Isles
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Offline TowerWill

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Re: Dover Waterworks
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2010, 22:22:35 »
Yes well done Islesy!Nice photos.Shows Veolia true to form(i worked for a connected company once).Veolia like to send me letters trying to get me to insure my home's pipework but fails to sort out the fact my neighbour's house and mine share the same stopcock.

 

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