Photo: 2nd April 2004 (B.Yorke)
This map is from 1844 and is pre Calf Hey and Ogden Reservoirs
(Click over to enlarge)
Building work completed in 1860
Measures: 23 acres
Height of Dam in ft = 50
Volume in mill.gals = 133.50
Height above sea level = 800ft
Top water level = 243.84 m. (a.o.d.)
Max depth: 13.26 m
Catchment area: 870 acres
also more details extracted from the Irwell Valley Water Board Report of 1939:
Earth embankments and puddle core walls, completed in 1859.
The first sod cut by Thomas Aitken on 18th May 1854.
Average rainfall: 52.5 inches
Top water level: 800.00ft above Ordnance Datron.
Length of Embankment: 1025ft.
Maximum depth: 42ft.
Capacity: 133.5 million gallons.
Calf Hey with little to NO water
1976 (low) 1984 (empty) 1990 approx (empty)
Mel kindly sent this one in many years ago and it shows Calf Hey Res
low in 1976
Calf Hey Reservoir - Empty in August 1984
Calf Hey Reservoir - Empty in August 1984
Calf Hey Reservoir - Empty in 1984 and just starting to fill up again in December 1984.
Calf Hey Reservoir - Empty in 1984 and just starting to fill up again December 1984
Photo: Jackie Ramsbottom
It does seem that Calf Hey Res was also empty at sometime during the 1990's as this photo shows.
(Photo: kindly shared to us by Jackie Ramsbottom).
I believe the last time Calf Hey was emptied was back in the 1990s although I can clearly remember when Calf Hey Reservoir was emptied in the Midsummer of 1984 when we had a National drought and the North West Water Authority (as it was then called) took advantage of that situation to let the reservoir completely empty so they could carry out necessary repairs which had to be made to the Reservoir. I am glad now I took these photos at the time...
Here the photos show it completely empty during August 1984 and a couple more showing the reservoir starting to fill up again during December 1984.
It was always said that Brown Trout could never survive in Calf Hey because of the high acid levels and I can remember about 7 years prior to this incident (1977 ish) that some local fishing club members put a few hundred brown trout fry of approx 4" in size into Calf Hey to see how they faired. Unknown to many the fish did quite well and in later years there where odd individuals who actually did a spot of fishing now and again and where known to catch trout averaging 14 to 18" in length. I can only hope the Trout got netted prior to the reservoir becoming completely emptied in 84 although I never heard anything. I cant say as I have seen any evidence of trout in the reservoir in more recent years..
More recent photos of Calf Hey Reservoir
Photo: B Yorke
Calf Hey on 14th August 2008
Photo: B. Yorke
Building work completed in 1912
Measures: 53.5 acres
Height of Dam in ft = 65
Volume in mill.gals = 330
Height above sea level = 737ft
Top water level = 224.79 m (a.o.d.)
Maximum depth = 15.24m
Catchment area: 976 acres
Water is also fed into this reservoir via a pipeline from a intake on the Musbury Brook in the next valley.
Before Ogden reservoir was built
The above map shows the area back in 1844 many years prior to the building of the Ogden Reservoir. Ogden is the only reservoir of the 3 which did have properties or ruined structures under the waters. From the map you can see that it shows a Old Mill (near Ogden Brook), it also shows Calf Hey Mill (cotton), and further along it shows Broad Holden Mill.
Above photo is a photograph of the Calf Hey Mill in ruins
see map above for area
(Photo: author unknown)
Calf Hey Mill (above), not known when built by in 1798 there were two small carding mills on this site. Extended in the 1830's by Richard Roscoe and closed in 1868. After standing empty for four years taken over by the Haslingden Grane Manufacturing Company and then various other companies until 1898 when taken over by the water companies for the new reservoir. Site cleared the same year. (information thanks to Mike Rothwell)
Above photo is of Broad Holden House which also became a victim of the new Ogden Reservoir
see map above for area
(Photo: author unknown)
Building of Ogden
(above) Some of the navvies who worked building the Ogden Reservoir
Opening of the Ogden Reservoir
Taken from a early newspaper -
Opening Ceremony at Haslingden Grane
Bury and District Water Board's
Big Scheme Completed
The opening of the Ogden reservoir at Haslingden Grane, the newest and the biggest reservoir of the Bury and District
Water Board, took place on Thursday. The members of the
Water Board assembled at the reservoir, and the party included Alderman Cartin and Councillor Waddington
(representatives of Haslingden Town Council on the Water Board), Dr. Parkes (Mayor of Bury, chairman of the Water Board), Mr. Cartwright (the Board's Engineer), Mr. Haslam (Clerk to the Board) and Mr. Herbert Drake (construction contractor).
Mr. Cartwright, the Board's Engineer, read a report outlining the history of the scheme and detailing the reservoir, and said the completion of the Ogden reservoir was an epocl: in the history of the Joint Water Board. For a period of exactly 40 years this scheme had occupied the attention of the water authority. Indeed, so far back as 1853 the old Bury and Radcliffe Waterworks Co. and the mill owners on the stream were anticipating the possibility of a reservoir on this site, for in an Act obtained by them in that year, which provided for the acquisition of the Holden Wood reservoir (primarily for the use of mill owners on the stream and for the construction of the Calf Hey reservoir) it was stipulated what compensation should be given to the stream in the event of the impounding capacity of the Ogden Valley being thereafter increased. In 1872 the Bury Improvement Commissioners promoted a Bill for the purchase of the Bury and Radcliffe Waterworks undertaking and for the acquisition of lands, and for the impounding of the waters of the Ogden brook by the construction of a reservoir to be called the Ogden reservoir. During the progress of that Bill through Parliament it transpired that the Haslingden and Rawtenstall Co, who owned the large reservoir at Hapton, were willing to sell their undertaking. The Commissioners purchased this reservoir, and then applied for power to expend £100,000 on the proposed Ogden scheme. Parliament granted this power subject to a period of 15 years being fixed within which to complete the reservoir, but the purchase of Hapton reservoir had rendered any further works unnecessary for the time being. and the period allowed by Parliament well nigh lapsed without any action being taken.
The Ogden valley, about eight miles N.W. of Bury and 1 1/2 miles east of the centre of Haslingden at an elevation of 737.50 feet above ordnace datum. It has a top-water area of nearly 5 1/2 acres, and a capacity of over 300,000,000 gallons, and measures over 1 1/2 miles round to the top water level. The gathering round is 928 acres or, including the Calf Hey gathering round, 872 acrea a total drainage area of 1,800 acres.
Mr. Woods said he was one of the younger members of the Water Board, but although he had been a member of it only seven or eight years he had always taken a great interest in the work, for he was connected with the Waterworks Committee when he was a member of the Bury Town Council previous to the formation of the Joint Board. The utilisation of the site for the purpose of a reservoir was practically doomed many years ago by Mr. Hawksley a great water engineer, but further hopes were made, and then it was decided to go on with the scheme. There had been many difficulties to deal with. They had a bad bottom and at one end they had to go to an extra depth. Then they had a bog slide. When this occurred it was said in the district that something had gone wrong with the reservoir. Nothing had, however gone wrong with the reservoir embankment. The land was sliding in to the reservoir, and to prevent it crushing up the reservoir they had to incur great expense. Many other difficulties had to be got over, but that day they saw a grand piece of engineering work in its completed state. A reservoir with an earth embankment was not work that could be pushed forward. Time would form a natural embankment but although some people seemed to think the reservoir ought to have been finished years ago, no time had been lost. He had followed two hard working chairmen of the Works Committee Mr. Sykes and the late Alderman Duxbury, who did yeoman service for the Board. Those gentlemen were practically in at the start of that reservoir, and it is a pity they did not see the opening.
The Mayor of Bury, Dr. Parkes, afterwards turned on the water service, supplying parts of Radcliffe and Bury, hitherto supplied by Heywood. Recalling that on April 8th 1903, he cut the first sod for that reservoir, he said it did not often fall to the lot of one man to cut the first sod and then turn on the supply of the same reservoir. He was proud that this had fallen to him, and he was proud that they had such a beautifully constructed and fine reservoir. The Water Board in constructing that reservoir were making provision for prosterity, and he thought it right that they should do that. He thought they ought to congratulate Mr. Cartwright, their engineer on the scheme, and also congratuated the contractor on the way in which he had carried Mr. Cartwright's instructions. Mr. Foster the original contractor, was with them at the cutting of the first sod and presented him with a spade which he valued very much, and the first sod was cut about the spot on which they now stood. Mr. Foster died shortly after. Mr. Phinras Drake came to their rescue to complete the work as contractor. He did his work splendidly, but unfortunately he too died. His son had, however completed the work in quite as excellent a manner as his father had been doint it, and that reservoir would be a fine monument to hs work as long as he lived. Concluding Dr. Parkes said he hoped the Bury and Radcliffe members would taste some of that water that evening.
(We are grateful to John Simpson for kindly contributing these newspaper notes)
Photos of Ogden Reservoir
Took this photo one morning whilst bird migration counting on Stoney Rake above
Calf Hey and looks over towards Edenfield direction, the mist covering over
Ogden Reservoir. (B.Yorke)
This photo shows both Ogden Res and Holden Wood at sunrise on Fri 24th Oct 2008
This again shows a sunrise over Ogden and Holden Wood on 19th October 2008
Another sunrise from Stoney Rake (above Calf Hey) towards Misty Ogden
A fresh frosty start looking down from Stoney Rake (above Calf Hey)
and down towards both Ogden Res and Holden Wood Res on 21st March 2008
It is yet another sunrise photo and just shows the sun relecting on the bottom of
the Holden Wood Reservoir.
Fishing on Ogden 16th August 2003
Trout fishing on Ogden
(by Bryan Yorke)
I used to love fishing on the Ogden! Those days (almost 50 years ago) there were only 60 members and you had to put your name down with the Secretary Frank Horrocks and wait until a vacancy occurred before you were invited to join the Haslingden and District Fly Fishing Club. Eventually the day arrived and I got my invitation, I think it was about £10 per year if I remember correct and you could fish for Brown Trout. There were no Rainbows then, it was only stocked with Brownies and the only other fish you ever were likely to see were minnows swarmed over near the feeder stream. The feeder stream which came into Ogden had been piped all the way around from the Musbury valley.
Ogden was a great place to spend an hour or two and rarely did I catch a fish, but it was well worth the membership for the privilege of the tranquillity of the surroundings, so peaceful with only the trickle of water or the splashing of ripples against the puddle-core stones. You may hear the birds singing and the fleeting glimpse and trilling of the Common Sandpipers. It was a special place and I bet it still is. I remember Harold Haworth, one of the founder members of the Club would come and have a fish quite near to the large diameter pipe just as you had climbed over the fence. He would see me on the other side quite a way back, and would shout over, who is it? His voice amplified as the echo on the Ogden and its valley is quite strong, I would shout back to put his mind at rest.Later I got to know Harold well and would regular go along to his house and he would tie flies for me to fish with, he was a master at fly-tying and would give me valuable lessons and tips. I still have some of my favourites for that water which Harold tied which included Greenwells glory, or Black Gnat or Alexander. I have a copy of Harold’s book which gives examples of some of his favourite flies. One thing for sure when you walked into Harold’s you could not help but notice the glass case on his wall which had a 5lb 9oz Brown Trout which he had caught back in 1922 on Ogden, it was such a beautifully marked fish (see photo below).
Many years later the Club took on many more members and started to stock the reservoir regular with Rainbow trout and at the beginning they also had another sort of trout, not sure but called something like Tiger trout, and they had markings like nothing I had ever seen before. I used to hear tales about odd anglers occasionally pulling out terrapins.The Club later sorted out parking, and built a fishing hut which every member got a key. They also put boats on (three I think) for fishing which were in a small compound over near the feeder stream.
I remember once reading a story in the local papers about a flying saucer that was supposedly seen discharging it’s flashing lights from under the waters of the Ogden coming from the bay area which runs close up to the roadside.
Early - Haslingden and District Fly Fishing Club notes
( Club notes thanks to Ian Belshaw - 10th June 2020)
Originally fishing on the Ogden was £5 per season. The original founder members, there were 30, all put in £15 as a loan which was repaid several years later. The first season was 1966, which makes this year my 54th continuous season as I am the last remaining member of the original 30, I was the youngest. The rent paid to the then Irwell Valley Water Board was £15 per year and it was on a 15 or 20 year lease. Our president was Coun Bert Bussey who lived at Calf Hey and was on the water company board. I hope this helps on how the fishing club was formed.
Building work completed in 1842
Measures: 21.5 acres
Height of Dam in ft = 40
Volume in mill.gals = 80.7
Height above sea level = 670ft
Top water level: 204.22 m (a.o.d)
Maximum depth 9.45m
Catchment area 337 acres
Holden Wood Reservoir was used for compensation to the River Ogden (tributary of the River Irwell), and also supplies rainwater to the Holden Vale Mill.
In 1841 William Turner of Higher Mill at Helmshore and John Bowker of Irwell Vale adopted the Holden site and built a private reservoir which although smaller than the 1832 scheme, still involved a lake almost half a mile long. It provided water for various mills and factories in the Helmshore and Ogden valleys. Holden Wood was built privately without parliamentary legislation, and has never been used for supplying drinking water. When no longer required for industrial use it became a balancing lake. (information extracted from the History of Haslingden Grane published on behalf of the West Pennine Moors Area Management Committee)
Early construction of Holden Wood Reservoir
Above is a newspaper cutting requesting Labour for the making of the embankments
(Cutting kindly shared by John Simpson)
I remember when the Holden Vale Bleach Works was in existence, the water levels were forever fluctuating, yet within a year or two of the Company folding. The reservoir started to maintain constant levels and as such the Tufted Duck and the Great Crested Grebes began to breed on the reservoir.
"Madge Hole" under Holden Wood.....
Photos showing emptying Holden Wood
Reservoir (around 1989)
Holden Wood Res - Iced over
Skating on Holden Wood Reservoir (Photo: Andy Metcalfe)
nice recollections from Stew Brown
(7th June 2020 - HOAN facebook)
He wasn’t too chuffed.Anyway he continued his rounds and we doubled back.
Natural History of Holden Wood Res
Thanks to my late friend Charlie Payne for sending in these original photos showing of evidence of Freshwater Mussels that were found on Holden Wood Reservoir (Bay Area). I also received reports from as early as the middle of last year (mid 2000s) that it was noted that freshwater Mussels where seen to be uncovered and left dying, probably owing to the more recent changes in water levels which the reservoir has been subjected too, this I believe has been necessary for the carrying out of certain essential repairs. It is now thought that these samples of old shells found on the walls, where the result of possibly corvid predation and then bringing the Mussels over to the perimeter walls to try and smash the mussels on the wall to open them.
I am not aware to whether we still have them in Holden Wood, but it would be nice to think we have.
Also going back to the 80s and 90s when I used to do a bit of fishing, I would see almost on every visit the rare (nowadays) Water Voles, which would cross over from the steep banking side of the bottom of Holden Wood. I always wondered how they survived the Pike, but they did and there were strong populations there. I again wonder whether we still have them in Holden Wood, but can't see it!
Also I remember in the Rawtenstall Museum seeing a Otter which had a label on it stating it was taken on the Holden Wood Reservoir sometime around the 1920's
Bentley House and some of it's history
water feeds leading to the Reservoirs