Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society

News and Views

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018  
Jan 2011 Feb 2011 Mar 2011 Apr 2011 May 2011 Jun 2011
Jul 2011 Aug 2011 Sep 2011 Oct 2011 Nov 2011 Dec 2011
Dec 2011

Mon 05 Dec 2011
Manor Road Primary School and Clayton Reservoir

On Monday 5 Dec 2011, 18 members of the Young Reporters Club at Manor Road Primary School Clayton-le-Woods held their monthly after school meeting to discuss the pending demolition of a nearby Victorian Reservoir. The class is run by Miss Read and Mrs Hoole and children are keen to preserve the disused reservoir which was built in 1883 and see it converted to a garden feature by removing the roof and two walls. The reservoir is owned by United Utilities and Chorley Planning Department have recently passed the land for residential development. The reservoir is unique in its construction as it is built of fine Victorian vaulted brickwork.

Clayton Reservoir built 1883

Manor Road pupils with the trowel and mallet

Rosemary and Boyd of Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society attended the meeting to provide the children with background information about the structure. Recent researches have shown that when the Pumping Station, that filled the reservoir, was built in 1883 a special ceremony was held to lay the foundation stone. A newspaper article from Aug 1883 reported that the stone was laid by Henry Dobson, chairman of the Leyland Local Board. He was presented with a silver trowel to carry out the task. With assistance from the South Ribble Museum in Leyland it was discovered that the trowel still existed and had been passed down through Mr Dobson’d family. The trowel is now being looked after by a lady now living in Leyland and she also attended the meeting to show the children the silver trowel and an ivory mallet which was used to tap the stone into place.

The trowel in its case

The children hope that United Utilities will reconsider their plans and only sell part of the site for development and allow the reservoir to be converted into a feature that will preserve its unique heritage.
A project was carried out in Sydney, Australia where a similar disused reservoir was converted to public gardens with the columns and vaults preserved. This shows that old reservoirs can be converted into a useful community feature.
The children’s in-school magazine is called ‘Mega Manor Mag’ and they have written the following entry regarding the reservoir.
‘We have to act quickly and there is only one more reservoir left. We have only a bit of time and not a lot of people who are willing to help us!’