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Saturday, 30 May 2015

How town’s water changed its course

His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch has, with his wonted liberality, given the poor of his parish a most seasonable donation of 20 tons of coal from his coal-field in Canonbie, and the farmers and others in the parish having horses and carts, are leading the coals free of expense to the houses of the recipients; thus many a fireside has been rendered more than usually warm and cheerful during this cold and frosty Christmas and New Year.Before Sheriff Champion in Dumfries Sheriff Court on Tuesday, George Mackenzie, a middle-aged man, and Robert M’Adam (23) were charged with having on December 11 and 13 broken into a shop at Claygate, Canonbie, occupied by John Horsburgh, draper and licensed grocer, and stolen a number of articles, including 10s in cash, two bottles of rum, a quart bottle of whisky, two half-bottles of whisky, and two overcoats.It is exactly a hundred and ten years ago since the former Langholm Waterworks were opened, the last remaining evidence of which are two small reservoirs situated at Mount Hooley.The atrocious weather conditions which have swept the whole country for the last few days have not bypassed Annandale & Eskdale.

sm hooley
The stone-front from an old Langholm water cistern at Mount Hooley


Seasonable liberality


Claygate burglary

Mackenzie was also charged with breaking into another draper’s shop and stealing several articles.

Both accused pleaded guilty.

Mackenzie had a bad record, but M’Adam had never been in trouble before. Both accused were remitted to the High Court.



According to the records there was a considerable amount of excitement about the event and a large bazaar was followed by a picnic at Whita Well.

Some well-known orators had been obtained and great hopes were raised concerning one of them who was reputed to be a speaker of the first rank, and all ears were strained to catch the words of wisdom which would fall from his lips.

Alas! He began by saying that it was a beautiful day and that they were assembled in a beautiful place, and went on to say he was delighted to be present and hoped they would all have the water laid on to their houses – he then sat down.

Before 1952 the water supply in the town came from wells and pumps, the most famous of which were, Whita Well, Betty’s Well, The Brewery Well, The Stubholm, Townhead and Townfoot Spouts, the Square Pump and the Moodlawpoint Pump.


Bad weather plays havoc with Eskdale

Langholm lies under nine inches of snow with the rest of the surrounding areas suffering similarly and with the severity of the situation being accentuated by severe frosts both during the day and night.

Local industry has been badly affected with the bus which brings workers from Carlisle to Langholm via Canonbie and Glenzier not having operated for two days and the bus which brings workers from Newcastleton not having run today.

Langholm Academy has not had any of its outlying pupils from Eskdalemuir, Canonbie or Glenzier, approximately 35 per cent of the total roll, at school for two days and it’s now having to consider very seriously the possibility of postponing the planned preliminary examinations to allow both pupils and staff to prepare properly.

Temperatures at Eskdalemuir over the last few nights show frosts varying from minus 6C to minus 9.6C.


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