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Preparatory Works

The First World War delayed the start of work on Stocks Reservoir. At the end of the war there were still difficulties in obtaining plant, machinery and material required for construction. In addition, the shortage of manpower caused by the terrible loss of life in the war meant that wage rates were prohibitively high. Coupled with high interest rates on borrowed capital, these difficulties made initial progress rather slow, and it was not until 1922 that the main works on the Stocks Reservoir were begun, though large amounts of  preparatory work had been done. 

This preparatory work included the building of main-line sidings on the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company's line at Long Preston near Hellifield.

Fylde Water Board sidings at Long Preston - Works office (left)

Fylde Water Board sidings & yard office at Long Preston 1925

Photograph from the late May Jackson collection, used by kind permission of Mrs. J. Cowking

 

Responsibility for five miles of the Long Preston to Slaidburn road was taken over from Settle Rural District Council and this was reconstructed to carry heavy traffic. The road between Long Preston and the Tosside depot was reportedly axle deep with ruts due to the use of a Fowler traction engine and trailer and a Foden steam lorry to bring supplies required for the works including steel girders, timber, cement, sleepers and coal . Stone was quarried locally to repair the road. The traction engine was also used to bring the locomotives required for the narrow gauge light railways around the dam works.

Fowler traction engine hauls 0-4-0 Peckett locomotive "Hodder" to Tosside depot - 27th September 1924

Photograph from the late May Jackson collection, used by kind permission of Mrs. J. Cowking

 

 

Unloading 0-4-0 Peckett locomotive "Hodder" at Tosside depot 

- "Stocks" waiting to haul the locomotive onto the line at an end loading point

Photograph from the late May Jackson collection, used by kind permission of Mrs. J. Cowking

 

A depot and railhead at Tosside was built, and five miles of 3ft. narrow gauge railway was constructed between Tosside and the site of the dam.

Tosside Depot - Steam Crane & Skirden Hall Farm in the background

Tosside Depot c.1925

Photograph from the late May Jackson collection, used by kind permission of Mrs. J. Cowking

 

Tosside Depot c.1925

Photograph used by kind permission of Mrs. J. Lawson

 

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