Drinking water for Grewelthorpe
Up to the late 1890’s Grewelthorpe people had to rely on natural springs for their drinking water.
There are many springs in the area and there was a pump at the bottom of CROSSHILLS. There is still a wet spot there to this day.
This early photo shows the pump on Crosshills
Grewelthorpe had two ponds at this time, one in the position of the present pond and the other in front of the bungalows at the Ripon end of the village where there is a grassy area now.
This photo taken about 1920 shows the two ponds, one in the foreground and the other in the ponds present positionThe problem of finding a water supply for the village was on the agenda of the very first Parish Council meeting in 1894.
There had been a meeting in Kirkby Malzeard in 1894 when the inspector of the local governing board held an inquiry with reference to an application by the Sanitary authority of the rural Sanitary District of Ripon Union for sanction to borrow £2,300 for works of water supply to Kirkby Malzeard and Grewelthorpe.
It was reported that Grewelthorpe had an area of 4,851 the population being 414 the rateable value of £3921. There were 110 houses. The scheme was to take water from Kexmoor, 2.5 miles from K.Malzeard. Convey it by gravitation in 3inch pipes to Kirkby and then to Grewelthorpe. It was admitted that water was available nearer to Grewelthorpe but the owner would not allow it to be taken. The medical officer of health reported there had been a need for a good wholesome supply of water to these 2 villages for the past 20 years. The present supply was mostly supplied from local shallow wells, often near to middens, which meant that most of them were foul and unfit for domestic use. There had been frequent outbreaks of fever in both villages. The death rate in Kirkby between 1837 and 1886 averaged 24 per 1000 per annum. This abnormal high rate was attributed to impure water. An attempt had been made in 1886 to get a better supply of water but it had failed. There had been another outbreak of fever in 1894. It was estimated that the supply from Kexmoor would be adequate for both villages.
It was stated that there were other schemes available and the meeting passed resolutions to oppose this scheme.
Various local residents were approached to see if they would allow their Springs to be tapped into.
On January 7th 1895 the Parish Council wrote to the Bishop of Truro as he was the landlord of The Hutts a large manorial house on Hutts Lane.
Dear Sir, In consideration of a resolution moved by the rural sanitary authority that a supply of water must be provided for the village of Grewelthorpe. The Councillors of the aforesaid Parish, at a meeting on the 7th inst. beg to be allowed to make petition to your Lordship for a supply from a spring at The Hutts.Hoping your Lordship will give us a favourable reply seeing we are unable to fund any other likely source attainable.We are my Lord, Yours faithfully,Thomas Richmond,NB From the Spring by the side of the 3rd gate from Hutts Lane Top adjoining the lawn tennis ground. A reply was soon received from Frank Gott the agent for the Bishop of Truro, 3 East Parade, Leeds.
Chairman of the Council.
Jan. 10th 1895.Reply from the Parish Council dated 22nd January 1895
Dear Sir, Re. Water Supply I am obliged for yours of the 7th inst.The Spring you allude to is a valuable one for the purpose of water supply to The Hutts in a dry Summer as that of 1893 when it was our only source of good drinking water. Moreover I should not have thought it a large enough Spring to supply Grewelthorpe. Have you carefully considered the question as to its being of sufficient capacity for your water supply.Nothing but a good offer from Grewelthorpe could tempt us to part with a Spring whose supply can be of such value to us.Hoping that you may be able to obtain a supply from a less costly source.
I am your faithfully,
This heartfelt plea did not touch the heart strings of the faraway Bishop of Truro and his agent Mr Gott soon replied:-
Dear Sir, Re Grewelthorpe Water Supply. I am directed by the Council of Grewelthorpe to say they are not in a position to give more than £3 per year, subject to the approval of the Local Government Board, for a term of 99 years, seeing the combined source for Kirkby and Grewelthorpe was £6 a year this being £3 for each township, the water committee for Grewelthorpe objected to be joined with Kirkby Malzeard on the grounds of there being some doubt of the source being sufficient for the two townships. In this way the Local Government Board allowed the matter to stand over for 3 months so that we might find a sufficient and separate supply but not at an extra cost.
Therefore you will see that the Council is not in a position to give a great price for the source not only as at the present moment the rural depression and scarcity of work for the Cottagers, they have more than enough to do to pay their Cottage rents and local rates.The water supply being chiefly for the Cottagers, seeing at the moment most of them have to pay an annual fee for their supply from a private source.Therefore the Council hope that you will take a very lenient view of this matter seeing the expense of the excavation and piping will fall heavy enough upon the Tenantry and ratepayers especially in these very trying times.
Hoping you will give the Council a favourable reply.
J.Leathley [Clerk to the Council]
N.B.Population in village of Kirkby Malzeard – 500. Population in Grewelthorpe 250.
Dear Sir, Re. Grewelthorpe Water Supply.
We are obliged for yours of the 22nd inst. but regret that we cannot recommend the Bishop to lessen his water supply for such a small sum per annum. Viz £3-0-0.
In 1898 the Parish Council resolved that the District Council should drain the Low Pond at their own expense. This had not been done by 1900 because Mr. Hutton complained to the Parish Council that the excess surface water and overflow from water fountains had caused the Low Pond to rise and was doing injury to his property.
This photo shows the filled in area where the low pond was. The Parish Council had already suggested that that drains be installed to take away the overflow from the standpipe in the village into the main drain. In 1898 they wanted to connect a sanitary pipe with the main drain and extend this main drain to the outlet of the drain which led into the top pond. The Parish Council would pay for this out of local ratesIn 1900 the accounts of the Grewelthorpe Water Supply were kept by Mr. J.W.Hall. In this year it was pointed out that Mr. Ellis who had a farm in Grewelthorpe should pay extra for the water he used for his stock.
In December 1900 the village agreed to the Leeds & Harrogate Water scheme.
In June 1901 a meeting of ratepayers of Grewelthorpe discussed the proposed Grewelthorpe Drainage Scheme but no-one voted in favour of it. It was agreed to form a committee from members of Ripon District Council, Grewelthorpe Parish Council, Mr. J. Spence the Mayor of Ripon, Mr. J. Hutton and Mr. R.H.Taylor.
They would try to deal with the drainage problem.In 1904 Complaints were made about the method of paying for water. It was felt to be unfair because some people were using more water than they were paying for. A commission was appointed to go around the village and find out who was using water and in what way. They had to report back to the Parish Council. The commissioners were Messrs. W.Thompson, J.E.Simpson & R.H.Taylor. In April 1905 there was outrage in the village by a report in the press that the Waterworks clerk, Mr. Hall, had applied for an advance of £6 on top of the £4 he already received from the two Parishes, Grewelthorpe and Kirkby Malzeard. A petition was sent to the Rural District Council asking them to allow Grewelthorpe to have a man appointed by the village to look after the water and interests of the Parish. As Mr. Hall was still in office in 1907 this request was obviously refused.In September 1905 Grewelthorpe Parish Council wrote to the Clerk of Ripon RDC.
Dear Sir, In answer to your letter to the above PC re Harrogate Water Act 1901. I am instructed by them to say that three of the landowners at Carlsmoor have made complaints as to the scarcity of water which they consider has been caused by the cutting made by Harrogate Corporation Waterworks, as the Springs have not been known to fail before now.It was proposed by Mr. J. Crabtree and seconded by Mr. W. Thompson and carried that the Harrogate Corporation be asked to leave a supply of water free of cost to the persons aggrieved thereby.The landowners referred to are:- Mr. Thomas Richmond, Mr. W.Umpleby & Mr. Leonard Burrill.
Dear Madam. The complaints would appear to be due to 2 different causes, firstly, brown staining which seems to be due to discolouration of the Spring Water, and secondly, furring up in kettles which is due to the use of harder borehole water.I have arranged frequent washing out of the mains in order to remove discolouration. In regard to this it is the Boards intention to ultimately discontinue the Spring supply, which is subject to contamination, and increase the quantity taken from the Kirkby Malzeard borehole. This however will give rise to the deposition of scale under certain heating conditions. There are several commercial products which are available for the removal of scale due to hard water.