We celebrate the starring role of the Congleton Water Tower in Channel 4's 'Restoration Man' with selected highlights of the 250 lines composed (and recited) by the Congleton Borough Treasurer W. H. Krinks on the occasion of the inauguration of the Congleton Water Works on 27th October, 1881!
To us, a rock in Horeb riven,
Has BEALES PURE WATER flowing given,
From sources searched for far and wide,
Nor left one likely source untried,
Till hill and dale had told their tale
Of fountains that could never fail -
Twin Giants, Gravity and Steam,
Together yoked, a matchless team,
To carry to each cottage door,
A beautiful, perennial store,
From elevated Corda Well,
Of pureness without parallel ...
A page, famed in our history, will
This day's great ceremonial fill;
And as ten years ago, the Park,
An epoch in our annals mark -
Another and long wished for move
In the right Sanitary groove,
To make our public health compare
Well with returns shewn any where.
This day to see the MAYOR elate
With great delight, inaugurate
Our WATER WORKS, proclaiming them
This ANCIENT BOROUGH'S diadem -
Each sparkling drop, a precious gem,
Of greatly more intrinsic worth,
Than all the jewels upon the earth;
And thus addressing the great crowd,
To hear each word in silence bowed,
And all of this grand fete day proud,
In language, terse, brief, clear and loud:
YE BURGESSES, my word assures
These WATER WORKS to you and yours,
A heritage, while time endures.
What would your ancestors have given
For such a blessing sent from heaven?
But I forbear more wearying rhyme
Which now but wastes your precious time.
Pray with your censure of this jingle,
Let this old kindness freely mingle,
And I'll this rhapsody conclude
With feelings of deep gratitude.
Just 30 lines as a taster - and while it makes us smile, it must reflect an appetite to celebrate the contribution of science and Victorian engineering to public health. Not to mention, of course, the miracle of running water.
(We enjoy it here, of course, because it reminds us of the joys of council collections!)