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Woodborough’s Heritage

Woodborough, an ancient Sherwood Forest Village recorded in Domesday



Services and utilities



Key dates:

1912 – Telephone service (link)

1920 – Water supply from a wind pump (link)

1929 – Mains water supply

1929 – Mains electricity supply

1965 – Mains sewerage

1965 – Piped mains gas



Mains water supply:


Reporting in 1895 in the Woodborough Parish Magazine: The water supply of all the villages in the Dover-Beck Valley requires the serious attention of the inhabitants. It appears that the Nottingham Corporation intend to sink deep wells from which they will pump water for the supply of Nottingham. One of these wells is to be at Grimesmoor on the land now occupied by Mr Turtle. The question is what effect this will have upon the flow of water down the Dover Beck and upon the present water supply derived from shallow wells . . . One friend tells me he had last year to sink his well 19 yards deeper in consequence of the pumping of one of these deep wells recently sunk near his farm . . . It remains for the Parish Councils, with the aid of the District Councils and the County Council, to watch the interest of the inhabitants, and, if they cannot prevent the draining of the wells, to see that the Nottingham Corporation will give a proper supply instead upon reasonable terms.


Until 1920 all water was obtained from either springs or wells. However in 1920, piped water was made available to a limited number of properties. The owner of Woodborough Hall installed a wind pump 200 feet deep. This pumped water to a brick reservoir on the hill near Fox Covert. The water was then gravitated to properties situated within the square formed by Manor Farm, The Hall, Bank Farm and Wood Barn Farm. See link Wind pump.


The present piped water system was installed in 1938. The water is pumped from the Bunter sandstone at three stations. Halam, Ompton and Markham Clinton, to Oxton Reservoir which has a capacity of approximately 9 million gallons. From the reservoir there is a 27 inch pipeline which goes to Lambley. In Woodborough this pipeline follows Roe Hill and Lingwood Lane. Where it crosses the main street two 3-inch pipes are let into it. One runs east along the main street, the other west. Other 3-inch pipes branch off at road intersections. The average consumption per head for domestic use is 27.87 gallons per day, 20.37 gallons per day for trade use.


Due to several problems with burst water pipes, the following reports were published in the Woodborough Newsletter:-


November 1968: A good deal of time at the last Parish Council meeting was devoted to the serious question of future safety in the event of any further fracture of the trunk water main. The Water Board Engineer and a senior Assistant attended to hear a first-hand account of the growing concern and in view of the importance of the subject the Chairman invited the public to express their views. This gave the Vicar the opportunity of insisting that nothing less than automatic cut-off valves on the flow and back-flow, spaced at such a distance to give the best possible protection to the village in the shortest time, would be acceptable. Apparently such valves do exist but they are not in common use because of the prohibitive cost. After long discussion the Engineer agreed that, in addition to undertaking stress relieving measures, he would discuss the parish proposals with his Board and report back at the earliest opportunity.

January 1969: A report of the Water Department following an investigation of the recent water main burst says that automatic remote control valves, which the Council asked for in order to isolate further bursts more quickly, have a bad reputation for unreliability in the water industry. In any event says the report, they could not eliminate flooding but merely reduce its extent. About 15 minutes would still be required for the valves to be automatically closed on a main of the size of the one at Woodborough and in that time about 300,000 gallons of water might escape. In the circumstances the Water Committee have decided that nothing would be gained by installing self-closing valves at a very high cost. The report has been accepted.


February 1970: A view has been made of the burst water main incident of September 1968 and the Water Department have reported on the stress relieving measures carried out at a location agreed with Coal Board officials. The report adds that the efficiency of preventing measures of this nature can only be estimated by the experience and judgment of the experts concerned and no one can completely forecast the vagaries of colliery subsidence effects. The review has given opportunity to rehearse the action which would be taken from key telephone points in the village in the unfortunate event of a future burst.


Sewer Drainage:


Prior to 1965 there was no piped drainage system for sewerage, cess pits and Elson closets being used. Now, however, only houses off the main roads or not obviously joined to the main are served by cess pits of closets.


The present system takes the sewerage to a sewerage processing plant at Calverton. The sewerage is gravitated in the 6-inch pipes from the western end of the village to a pumping station at the eastern end (off Shelt Hill). From there it is pumped in a 5-inch pipe to the sewerage farm.

The upheaval of Main Street for mains sewerage resulted in the Council not to sponsor Woodborough’s entry for the best-kept village competition this year.


Mains electricity and gas supply:


There are no reports relating to mains electricity service which was installed in 1929.


There are no reports relating to mains gas service which was installed in 1965.


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