Worksop Archaeological and Local History Society

by | 25 October 2023 | Heritage, Worksop

Worksop Archaeological and Local History Society met on 28th September at the Poplars Church (old Golden Ball) and took the form of the Annual General Meeting, followed by a presentation from Bob Evens.

After apologies for absence and before the Chairman’s report, Malcolm Dolby announced that he would be standing down as Chairman of the Society due to ongoing poor health problems. Thus a vacancy arose for a new Chairman and it was subsequently realised that a new President had never been elected to replace Michael Jackson after his demise.

Malcolm then agreed to take on the less onerous position of President and after members votes, Bob Evens was elected new Chairman. The rest of the AGM business was concluded satisfactorily followed by Bob Evens in his role as speaker with a subject entitled ‘Worksop Waterworks’.

This was an excellent talk, illustrated with slides and full of information about the beginnings of the modern water supply and disposal of sewage that we so take for granted these days. It is difficult to imagine that a few hundred years ago all water was fetched manually from either wells, rivers, canals or rain butts and raw sewage was often dumped onto farmland or in the rivers that then became part of the water supply. This resulted in a great deal of illness and infections such as typhoid and an extremely unsanitary, and smelly, way of life.

Eventually with the help of local businessmen and landowners in the town and the council, began the process of building a sewage disposal works and subsequently a water supply system which eventually improved both the living conditions and the health of the local population. The iconic ‘chimney’ at Bracebridge Pumping station is a remnant of the original pumping system which was eventually superseded by underground pumps as opposed to large beam engine pumps and the waterworks can still be seen at the top of Sunnyside, obviously improved since its original inception.

The next meeting will be on Thursday 26th October at the Poplars Church with a presentation by Denis Hill – ‘The Mansfield to Worksop Railway’. This is presently arranged for 7.30pm but may be altered to 2.30pm for the winter months. Members will be notified if there is any change.

The following month the speaker will be Ruthie Boys on the Worksop Torso on 23rd November.

New members and visitors who are interested in local history are always welcome, paying just £3.50 per visit, or to be a member costs £6.00 per year with £3.00 per visit. Car parking is available at the rear of the venue.