SK1789 : Derwent Reservoir

taken 11 months ago, near to Fairholmes [other Features], Derbyshire, Great Britain

This is 1 of 5 images, with title Derwent Reservoir in this square
Derwent Reservoir
Derwent Reservoir
By the end of the 19th century, there was a rapidly rising demand for water from the growing industrial cities of the East Midlands and South Yorkshire. The Upper Derwent Valley was chosen as a conveniently close site for water storage and the Howden and Derwent Dams were built between 1902 and 1916. Howden Dam was completed in July 1912. To build the dams one thousand people - workers and their families lived in the'Navvy Village' of Birchinlee, known as 'Tin Town'. It was to the west of what was to become Derwent Reservoir. The stone for the dams was quarried at Bolehill near Grindleford. A railway was built to carry the stone up the valley from the main line near Bamford. The concrete foundations to support this bridge can still be seen.

The Derwent Dam was completed in 1916, two years after the Howden Dam. It took six months to fill and first overflowed on 8th January 1916. Unlike Howden Dam there was no grand opening ceremony as it was during the First World War. Soon after the completion of Derwent Dam more water was required and the Ashop and Alport Rivers were diverted into the Derwent Reservoir.

In 1943, 617 Squadron of the RAF, led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, used Derwent Dam to practice low level flying in preparation for the Dam Buster raids on the Ruhr Dams in Germany. They had to practice flying at night to a height of only 60 feet above the water using two spotlights on the nose and tail of the Lancaster. The spotlights were angled so that they converged at exactly 60 feet below the aircraft. There was a reasonably straight run over Derwent Reservoir for the Lancasters to practice and the dam bore a resemblance to the Ruhr Dams so it was ideal for its purpose.
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Grid Square
SK1789, 227 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 24 October, 2017   (more nearby)
Thursday, 9 November, 2017
Geographical Context
Water resources 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 1705 8995 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:24.3658N 1:44.7000W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 1701 8988
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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