Our next meeting:


An illustrated talk
by Peter Cahill
on Wednesday 27th March
at 7.30pm
in the Olive Mount
Community Centre,
Edgewell Drive,
Liverpool L15

View our Location Map of the
Olive Mount Community Centre

Visit the 'Gathering the Jewels' website for more about Lake Vyrnwy

The Pictures:

Left (upper):
A street in Llanwddyn circa 1880

Left (lower):
The Straining Tower at Lake Vyrnwy

In the 19th century, Liverpool's ever-increasing population, industry and commerce meant that water supplies were often inadequate. The poorer quarters of the town might receive water for a mere two hours daily. The great drought of 1865 severely aggravated the situation.  The Medical Officer for Health for Liverpool at that time, Dr Trench, told a House of Commons committee that "hundreds of lives could have been saved during that season if there had been an increased supply of water".

Despite the construction of an additional reservoir at Rivington, and boreholes at Bootle and Dudlow Lane, the need for a major new source of water was obvious. The construction of the Vyrnwy water scheme in the 1880s provided the answer. It still supplies to this day some 40 million gallons daily (nearly 200 million litres) to Liverpool and parts of Merseyside and Cheshire via aqueducts 68 miles long. The Vyrnwy Dam was the largest masonry dam in the UK when built, and a five-mile long lake was formed behind it. The works kept pace with Liverpool's increasing demand for water until 1963, when the River Dee water scheme was introduced.

Peter Cahill, who worked in the water industry for many years and now teaches water and civil engineering, will talk about the development of this scheme and the unsung Liverpool hero - George Frederick Deacon, the Borough and Water Engineer - who promoted the scheme and was joint engineer to the works.

Peter will illustrate his talk with original photographs of Llanwddyn - the village in the Vyrnwy Valley which was submerged by the new reservoir - and of the dam's construction.

ALL WELCOME - Admission free - Donations invited

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