Long Preston Water Trust

A Brief History of the Long Preston Water Trust

On May 20th 1869 there was a public meeting at the Boars Head to form a committee for the Water & Street Lamp Organisation.  The leading light behind the meeting was Thomas Holgate (His son gave the fountain to commemorate him).  

Mr Holgate lived at Brooklands and he also owned Scale Haw, the field where the reservoir is situated. He was obviously aware of the water supply and realised not only that it could supply Brooklands and Riversdale but also the entire village.  In 1881 the trust was founded and extended by a conveyance of 1897. By this trust the Trustees were given certain water rights for the purpose of supplying water to Long Preston.  You will have noticed that the original committee was called 'Water & Street Lamp' In 1869.

I believe there were no street lights (imagine going home in pitch black after a meeting at the Boars Head!) but we had a gas company. Any profit that was made from the water was therefore used to light the village with gas lamps. Initially 20 lamps were planned and at the same time various villagers raised £84-3s-0d (a considerable sum in these days) towards the cause.  This continued until 1926 when the Lighting and Watching Act was passed and the responsibility for lighting passed to the Parish Council. The Trust did continue to give donations to the Parish Council for a number of years after. No doubt the Trust was pleased to hand over the responsibility as there were numerous complaints and requests for additional lighting.

In 1896 the reservoir was cleared and concreted with a 6ft 6" wall round it by Leonard Heaps at a cost of £178-7s-0d.  Previously it had been a hollow in the field with sets fixed into clay.  

1897 saw the laying of the 6" iron pipe from the reservoir to the Green approx. 1200 yards at a cost of £355-6s-9d including valves etc. Two extensions were made in 1898 one from R Carrs to Mrs Geldards croft, and another to the Almshouses.

In 1906 a 4" pipe was laid from the Green to Grosvenor Place and a 3" to The Heath. A 2" main was laid in 1907 from L Heaps to R Carrs.  In 1909 a 2" main was laid from Popay's corner to the church gates and also a 2" main from the Station yard across the beck connecting to the 1" pipe to Brooklands and Riversdale.

Following requests from villagers the water was tested in 1913 and found “safe” for drinking and domestic purposes'.  There was a severe shortage of water in 1920 with notices sent to every consumer to prevent leaks and quotations were received for 6 half inch water meters. The Settle Rural District Council took over the responsibility for the lighting in 1934 and all appliances were given to them.

There was a new 2" main on Ribblesdale Estate in 1955 and the last extension took place between 1967-1969 with the building of the Chapel Walk estate.

1963 was the year of the big freeze with pipes being frozen solid and a stand pipe being installed on the Green. There were 26 complaints to the Parish Council and also complaints to the Charity Commissioners who offered no criticism.  Over the years there has been complaints about the supply and quality of water but on reflection these have probably been no more than one would expect from a utility company.

1966 was an important year for the Trust as it became a charity, it pays no tax and proceedings cannot be commenced in relation to it without the consent of the Charity Commissioners. There was a further amendment to the Trust in 1970 whereby the Parish Council was allowed to appoint one trustee. 1991 was the year when the chlorination of water commenced and although there had been a petition saying that villagers on the whole did not want it, legislation forced the trustees to install the plant. the addition of chlorine is of the minimum amount necessary to pass the monthly tests and yet not giving bad taste.

In recent years we have embarked on renewing service pipes and in particular those crossing the main road although the longest was up Moor Lane. We have also installed meters which enable us to determine how much water the springs supply and in which part of the village it is being used. We have also purchased logging devices which are attached to the meters and are able to record the water flow through the meter.  The captured data can then be downloaded onto a computer to be analysed, which provides information on how much water is being used and when throughout the day.  The introduction of these loggers has significantly contributed to the discovery and reduction in water leaks within the system.

History of Long Preston Water Trust

Long Preston Water Trust Hoyle Hill 42 Main Street Long Preston Skipton BD23 4PH

Registered Charity Number: 243814

© Copyright of Long Preston Water Trust 2013