The Kiddal Quarry Water Scheme Back to the Main Historical Society page
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The Kiddal Quarry Water Scheme

Barwicker No. 3
December 1992

At the beginning of the century, Barwick obtained its water by pumping or drawing it from wells, as described on page 39. Crossgates, then part of Barwick township, had a piped supply from Leeds, but the pressure was often low.

The body responsible for the water supply was Tadcaster Rural District Council. In 1902, the Council empowered its water committee to devise a scheme to provide a piped supply to the western part of the district, including Barwick and Crossgates. This account of the scheme draws information from the minutes of the Barwick Parish Council and from the Local Government Board inquiry, reported in the Skyrack Courier of April 8th l9l0. After rejecting Saw Woods as too expensive, they decided to bore for water at Kiddal Quarry, a one-acre site on the north side of the Leeds to Tadcaster road opposite the end of New Lane. The quarry, which was owned by the Barwick township, had been worked out years before.

A hole, 30 feet deep, was bored by Mr Birch at the coat of £37 and the water found was satisfactory in quality. In 1904, Mr Hymas sank a well 72 feet deep and bored another 30 feet. There was an ample supply of unpolluted water, but it was too hard. A contract to sink the well another 46 feet was let to Mr Danson for £120, but after lO½ feet, he threw up the Job, considering the well unsafe. He was paid £50.

In the early part of 1906, Mr Silcock of Leeds, a consultant, recommended a geological expert, as he considered the water too hard. Professor Kendal of Leeds duly reported that, as the bore hole was close to a fault, there might be an undesirable substance (unnamed!) in the strata.

On July 3lst. 1906, Barwick Parish Council recommended that a satisfactory scheme should be undertaken, or they would complain to the Local Government Board.

It was decided to insert in the well a 15 inch steel lining tube to keep out the limestone water, and to make an additional 11 inch bore hole from the bottom of the well, into the millstone grit. This was done to a depth of 176 feet, at a coat of £618.

Tadcaster Rural District Council revealed its plans at the 1910 inquiry. They had agreed to take the quarry from Barwick pariah on a 99 year lease at an annual rental of £2, plus 1d. per thousand gallons royalty. Duplicate pumps and suction gas engines would be used to extract the water.. A plant capable of softening 10,000 gallons an hour, using lime followed by carbonation, would be constructed. The water would be stored in a 220,000 gallon reservoir and then fed by a six inch main to all parts of the township. The estimated daily consumption of water would be 50,000 gallons.

The total cost of the scheme was estimated at between £12,000 and £13,000. The cost of maintaining the scheme was a 3d. rate and Id. for softening, or £300 a year. Annual repayment of the loan and interest would coat about £660 a year. Fewer than 200 parishioners would be excluded from the scheme.

Barwick Parish Council approved the scheme, as did a meeting at over 300 ratepayers on 22nd. July, 1911. Some months later, however, local government reorganisation intervened. The boundaries of the City of Leeds were extended to include Crossgates, the most populous part of Barwick township. This sounded the death knell of the Kiddal scheme. It would be more than a decade before piped water came to Barwick.

Arthur Bantoft

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