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John Meads 2015
The Coming of Water

Warkton service reservoir
The Warkton service reservoir opened in 1907, seen here from
the air near Warkton Lane in 2004. Water pumped from Weekley
was gravity fed to Burton Latimer, the centre of which was
120 ft. lower. When the town grew and houses built on higher
ground this was found to be inadequate and severe problems
existed until the Pitsford reservoir was brought into use in 1957

From the Northampton Mercury 4 October 1907:
Burton Latimer, on Thursday, celebrated the coming into possession of a new public water supply, which it is hoped will serve the needs of the town for many years to come. The provision has been a source of much trouble to the local authority. Researches for a supply were made in all directions. Some of the experiments were costly, but in no case could anything like an adequate amount be found. Just when the members of the authority were almost at their wits' end it was found that Kettering, with its new supplies from Cransley and Thorpe Malsor would be able to do without their old works at Weekley, and that Burton Latimer could purchase them at a reasonable figure. An Act of Parliament had to be obtained to sanction the sale and purchase, and now Burton is in possession of a pure and ample water supply of its own. There was naturally considerable rejoicing at the opening on Thursday, and at the inevitable dinner due recognition was made of the services of those public spirited representatives upon the local and district authorities who have carried out this desirable undertaking.

And on another page in the same newspaper:
Thursday was a red-letter day in the history of Burton Latimer, being the occadion of the inauguaration of the new water supply which has recently been purchased from the Kettering Urban District Council. The source of the supply is situated close to Weekley, and a new pumping plant has been installed which pumps the water down the avenue and on the south side of Warkton parish to a service reservoir situated on an elevated position about half a mile to the south-east of that village. The reservoir which contains 119,000 gallons has an overflow level approximately 120 feet above the level of the Cross at Burton Latimer, the fall ensuring a good pressure in all parts of the parish. The work has been carried out under the supervision of Messrs. J.B. Everard, Son and Pick, of Leicester, whilst Mr. O.W. Gillson, the surveyor to the District Council, has acted as resident engineer.
A large company assembled at Weekley on Thursday afternoon to witness the initial part of the day's proceedings, amongst those present were ... (click here to read the guest list)
After a few introductory remarks from Mr. J. Rooke, the company inspected the pumping plant. The company then proceeded to the service reservoir, where the gate of the enclosure was unlocked by Mr. Charles Barlow C.A., with a silver key which allowed the water to fill the mains supplying the parish of Burton Latimer. The company then journeyed on to Burton Latimer where the Fire Brigade, under Captain A.C. Harris, tested the pressure, close to the church, and at the bottom of the Higham-road. Following the public trial of the water supply, a banquet was held in the Constitutional Hall, about 100 sitting down. A capital repast was supplied, and after the usual toasts, Mr. J.H. Ward gave "The Kettering Rural District Council," remarking that the parish of Burton Latimer had little to complain of in the way they had been treated by the Rural Council. ~ In reponding to the toast, Mr. J. Rooke, the Chairman, said that Burton Latimer, being the largest parish in the district, naturally occupied a good proportion of the time of the Council business. He thanked them for the compliment paid to the District Council, and he assured them that the interests of Burton Latimer had been admirably looked after by their representative on that body. ~ Mr. C.W. Lane, the Clerk to the Council, also responded. The Rev. E. Gates (Pytchley) gave "Success to Burton Latimer," remarking that he hoped the Burton Latimer Water Scheme would be an object lesson to other parishes in the district. ~ Mr. C. Barlow, in response, said the object of the Parish Council had been the welfare of the parishioners. The improvements that had taken place since he first came to the parish, some 36 years ago, were remarkable. They were deeply indebted to the District Council, and although the demands of Burton had been heavy, they had always been met fair and square, and they had always had the earnest co-operation of the Chairman of that body. ~ Mr. F.T. Freestone also responded. ~ Mr. J.A. Wallis gave the "Chairman." and presnted Mr. Barlow with a handsome piece of plate, on behalf of the inhabitants of Burton Latimer. ~ Mr. Barlow, in acknowledging the present, said that the spirit which prompted the gift was far greater than the value of the present. It showed that the parishioners valued hard work, and recognised when a man put his best into the service her redered. ~ Mr. J. Boardman gave "The Engineers and Contractors," and the concluding toast was that of "The Visitors."

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