Centenary celebrations for Lincoln’s water

The fountain in the Arboretum.

A day of celebration is set to honour 100 years of clean drinking water in Lincoln.

A series of events will be held in the city on October 1 , with all proceeds going to the charity Water Aid.

The celebrations are being organised by the Lincoln Water 100 Committee.

Over 100 years ago, a typhoid epidemic swept through Lincoln, caused by the dirty water supply, making thousands ill and killing 131.

Lincoln Corporation, which was responsible for the water supply at the time, was heavily criticised. It sought a new supply from Elkesley, Nottinghamshire.

Eventually the new supply was linked with the city and a water fountain in the Arboretum was built.

The fountain was cranked into action to spout the first Elkesley water by Mayor Newsum in front of thousands of cheering Lincolnites in October 1911.

To mark this occasion, there will be a commemorative spouting of the fountain in the Arboretum on October 1.

The Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue band will perform in the bandstand, Pedro the clown, a Lincoln Fire Brigade water tender, and other attractions.

The Water Tower in Westgate and Bracebridge Heath Reservoir, original utilities that are still in use, will both be partially open to the public.

Outside the Water Tower, Anglian Water’s main laying team will be giving a demonstration, and their Mobile Education Unit will organise children’s activities.

Another key attraction will be an exhibition at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life which will illustrate the story of Elkesley water with still photos and videos.

The celebrations close on October 7 when Michael Norton, an international expert on water provision, will give the Bishop Grosseteste Memorial Lecture in Lincoln Cathedral. Attendance is free.

Ciaran Nelson, a spokesperson for Anglian Water, said: “Nowadays, we take for granted that water flows readily out of the tap when we need it, and few people ever have cause to question the quality of that water.

“One hundred years ago, the situation couldn’t have been more different. Given that some people around the world still can’t rely on a safe and secure supply of water, it’s fantastic that the Rotary Club of Lincoln are using this centenary to help those who remain in need.

“I doubt many Lincolnians have given much thought to where their water comes from. I’d urge people to give some thought to just how precious water is in their lives – every wake-up splash, blooming flower, cup of tea or clean sock is only possible because of water.”

Source & Photo: Lincoln Rotary Club