Damage to Historic Glossop Water supply.
The inhabitants of Glossop up to the year 1854, depended upon wells and pumps for their water supply. The village had increased so rapidly in population that much inconvenience was caused, and disputes were constantly arising amongst the people through the supply during the droughts being inadequate. In 1852, meetings were held to arrange for a better supply but no definite action was taken.
The Duke of Norfolk however, in 1853, enlarged the Swinshaw Reservoir, formerly an old mill reservoir, and laid water pipes down at a cost to himself of from ?4000 to ?5000, and in 1854 he began to supply water at a charge of 2d. per week for cottages, and increased sums on higher rentals.
He had not obtained legal powers for doing this, but no one made any objection to it until Sept,1864, when the late Mr Francis Sumner served Lord Edward Howard with a notice questioning his legal right and authority to supply and sell the water.
Lord Howard knowing that he could not sustain an action in law, immediately served notice on his customers informing them that on and after the 30th of Sept. 1864, he could no longer guarantee a supply of water. The notice caused a great sensation in Glossop, as mostly all of the wells had been filled up and the pumps allowed to get out of repair.
A public meeting was accordingly held on the 22nd of Sept., at which the best way of obtaining a water supply under a duly qualified Authority was discussed. It was decided to apply that the same be under the Local Government Act and a Vestry Meeting was summoned to adopt the Act. In the meantime, deputations of the principle inhabitants saw Lord Howard and the Mill owners, and it was agreed that the water supply would continued, but free of charge.
The mill owners objected to the adoption of the Local Government Act, and proposed an application for a charter of Incorporation. At a meeting in the Town Hall on the 22nd of Nov, it was decided to take this course, and a petition was pre paired and extensively signed and supported.