City in the Hills by Ann Kilbey

Walshaw Dean

Our last evening  lecture of 2014 not only had a record attendance, it proved to be a really enjoyable experience for audience and speaker alike (we even had the heating on this time)!  The vast amounts of research that had been undertaken, the inclusion of material sent to Ann by readers of her book to expand on what had already been discovered and the quality of the images combined to make this a truly memorable evening.  We learnt how Enoch Tempest tendered for and won the contract to build a new reservoir at Walshaw Dean but then due to ill health tried unsuccessfully to retract his bid.  Already a successful contractor, he built narrow gauge railways, including the famous trestle bridge over Hebden Water from where a visitor tragically fell over a hundred feet to her death.  Teams of navvies lived with their families in appalling conditions in ‘Dawson City’, a shanty town built high on the moors near Heptonstall whilst the council officials worried over the details of a huge waterman’s cottage complete with marble fireplace!  Enoch died shortly after it’s completion having lost heavily. partly due to a miscalculation by a clerk who confused square feet with cubic feet!  He was buried in Marple, Cheshire.

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