Final Thoughts

Castle Carrock was certainly a different place from the village we see today.

Just stop for a moment. When the waterworks was built at the start of the last century, from the Geltsdale intakes to the 20” pipeline to the reservoir, there were no cranes, no diggers, no computers and no satellite imaging. Let alone a calculator, a mobile phone or a BlackBerry. It was a remarkable achievement. I believe that the men (I’ve come across no evidence of any women being directly involved in the construction process at all) who planned, engineered and then built the project were visionaries. The impact that they had on village life in Castle Carrock must have been huge – some good, some, no doubt, perhaps not so good. The reservoir in particular has spawned an abundance of wildlife habitats and a wonderful environment to explore and enjoy. A wonderful by-product. The work has stood the test of time, and it seems right to salute them 100 years on. I found this poem in one of the engineer’s handbooks, written in December 1907. It seems a fitting conclusion:

When, at the ending of the work
Comes forth the great event
The simple, sheer, sufficing, sane
Result of money spent:
The men who do the work unthought
Are neither saint nor sage
But men who simply do the work

Many people helped in putting together this information. My thanks to them all, and my apologies to those whom I have inadvertently forgotten: Stephen White, Paul Bassindale, Bruce Bennison, Ian Watson, Malcolm Thompson, Chris Marsh, Denis Perriam, Mike Jackson, Pete Brown, Tricia Meynell, Bev Forster, Alison Laithwaite, Keith Simmonds, Helen Hutchinson. And thanks to United Utilities, Carlisle City Council and Cumbria Community Foundation for financial help. All photographs © Carlisle Library