Ancient plaque rescued from reservoir

Yorkshire Water staff prepare to lift the plaque
Yorkshire Water staff prepare to lift the plaque

A hand-carved stone plaque from 1854 has been saved by Yorkshire Water and Calderdale Council.

The plaque, at Ogden Water near Halifax, has been placed on a custom-built plinth near the café and is now easy for the public to see for the first time, having previously been hidden from view at the mouth of the tunnel which held all of the reservoir’s pipes.

The company thinks the 850kg plaque was commissioned especially for the reservoir, which was completed in 1858.

Yorkshire Water project manager Tom Cochrane said: “It was an exciting and nerve-wracking day when we came to take the plaque out, but thankfully it emerged without any damage and, I’m sure people will agree, looks great on its new plinth.

“We don’t really know much about the plaque. It features John The Baptist, a popular reference in Halifax architecture and a feature of the town’s coat of arms, as well as Halifax Waterworks, who built the reservoir, the name of the mayor at the time, Josh Appleyard and a credit for the reservoir’s designer, John Frederick Bateman.

“If anyone else can fill in the gaps about its history we’d love to hear from them.”