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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Where Did Our Water Come From?

Last Saturday Pat and I took former S&C signalman up the line a little way so that he could point out to us the source of the water tower's water.   As a relief signalman Derek was qualified to work any of the S&C signal boxes and knows the line intimately.   Indeed, he once walked the entire line from Settle to Carlisle.

One of his signal boxes was the one that dealt with the sidings off the main line leading to the Hoffman kiln and Settle Lime works.   There was once a foot crossing over the main line between the Hoffman kiln and the signal box.   You can still drive up to the now permanently locked gated crossing.   Derek told us that the source of our water was just to the north of the Hoffman kiln on the up line side.   He told us that there were two holding tanks for water which was piped along the track to Settle.   These tanks were fed by a stream that crossed the line of the railway, the overflow from the holding tanks went under the line and on to the River Ribble.

Here is an impression of the Hoffman kiln in its heyday - and lo and behold, there is one of the tanks to the left (north) of the kiln.   Presumably it also served the needs of the kiln.  The kiln was built in 1873 - specifically to exploit the potential of the railway, then being built.

The location of the tank, well above the level of the track, would have added considerably to the pressure of water by the time it had been piped to Settle - easily sufficient to lift the water to the top of the water tower.

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