Wednesday 31 May 2023

A damned near disaster

 We went into Whaley Bridge, that in itself was a bit of a mission with David dismissing the googlemaps instruction to turn left out of the basin, he turned right in the car, "I've been this way before I know where I'm going"  two minutes later the lane was closed, it was such a narrow lane that it proved difficult to turn around so we drove to the town via Eccles Pike, Portobello and Horwich End a most interesting drive.  
Suddenly there was a Road called Goyt Road (there's a lot of Goyts up here)  We took the road and parked.  It lead to a pretty park and then to the reservoir, Toddbrook Reservoir.
Heard of that one?

On August 1st 2019 the reservoir began to fail.

We walked around the area being directed by locals who advised us the best place to get the full picture, that turned out to be on Reservoir Road.

The chatted to a lady who has vivid memories of that day.  The previous day water had been pouring over the top of the dam, it had attracted many people to walk along the walkway on the very top.  This had resulted after many days rain in the wider area.  

Someone spotted a crack and alerted the Police but it took quite a few hours for the word to go out to take your medicines and pets and GET OUT OF TOWN.  This lady took her dog and hand bag.   She was gone to her sister's in New Mills for about a week.  Some people refused to leave their homes, interesting decision as it became apparent later that the expert engineers were convinced it would go.  
Body bags were delivered to a nearby hall, the owner of the hall is still traumatised by the events.

Much later we were back in the centre of town, the Primary School is situated almost immediately under the reservoir wall.  The thought of this happening in term time quite literally made both our blood run cold in our veins.

So that was all almost four years ago and its not going to be mended for at least another two years.
Evidently there were warnings given prior as to the state of Toddbrook and the high risk of failure of the dam....  Bet someone wished they'd listened.

Now Reader you are going to have to excuse the lack of quality of these photos below.  Its happened because I used David's iPhone to take them then I tried to send them to my phone and laptop but whichever way I tried Blogger refused to use them, copyright? He said I could.  
Not at all annoying, but I am now too tired and too stupid to overcome issues like this so these finally are photos from my phone of his phone.

If you can see the top right hand corner, that is where the wall began to fail.

This is the inside of the reservoir with all those pipes pumping out water keeping the levels low.

The water usually comes up to just below where I took this photo from. 

The top of the reservoir, usually all water.  When they refill it I hope after the water birds have nested and their young fledged (Apart from Canadian geese that is.

No water to be seen.

Clearer one of the wall 

So this summer the Bosley and Marple Locks are on restricted opening hours.  That is to say the two flights are opened form 8:30am to 1pm.  No boats entering the top or bottom locks after 1pm (I'd advise Boaters not to arrive at 12:55 either)  They are manned by volunteers who are charming and helpful, so lets all be so back to them.  The main reason for this is the Toddbrook is being kept at very low capacity while its being mended, water for the locks is partially being pumped from the River Goyt, but there's not enough of it so Reader don't waste valuable water hereabouts.  

I'll finish this posting by linking a film by the crew of NB Silver Fox who made this film and very good it is too.


  1. Did you pass through Saddington on your travels?

    1. Now that is a family joke Reader, yonks ago David was trying to find somewhere and was lost, each time he tried again he ended up at Saddington. This is on the Leicester Arm of the GU and before he learnt to operate Google Maps....