Nottingham Water Supply

1- Water for Life: The Development of Nottingham’s Water Provision
2- Fresh water for Nottingham: Going Underground
3- A need for greater supply - Papplewick Pumping Station
4- Life at Papplewick
5- The modern Pumping Station
6- The continuing search for water

Life at Papplewick

Although Papplewick Pumping Station is only 8 miles from the centre of Nottingham, the Pumping Station needed to be self sufficient, especially during the winter months when the roads were often impassable. In his report to Nottingham Corporation in 1884 Tarboton drew attention to this fact:

'..It will desirable to provide some stabling, workshops and stores; also coal sheds for winter storage, the works being so far distant and at certain seasons difficult to access.'

In the days of steam there were 14 men working at Papplewick: The Superintendent and his Deputy were responsible for management and maintenance and lived on site in two cottages; four Tenters who looked after the Beam engines; four Stokers responsible for the boilers; two spare men who were available for any duties; and two Gardeners responsible for the grounds. Staff usually worked at Papplewick for many years, slowly being promoted when somebody left or retired. Engine Tenter Samuel Garratt is a prime example - he spent a total of 41 years at the Station.

To keep the engines running 24 hours a day throughout the year required the staff to work in three shifts (6am-2pm, 2pm-10pm, 10pm-6am) and each man was trained to stand in for colleagues who were sick or on holiday. Interestingly, staff did not receive any form of first aid training and casualties had to be taken to Nottingham as quickly as possible.

In 1890 the Council built three additional cottages for Papplewick staff when it became apparent that the remote location of the Station together with harsh weather conditions prevented staff, particularly Stokers, from getting to the Station; the building work cost £520 and each house had a sizable garden, ideal for vegetable growing.

The Pumping Station remained a self contained community well into the 20th century and until the 1960s travelling grocers and butchers used to call at the houses. Most staff that lived here grew their own vegetables, only leaving the Station for special occasions or essential supplies. The Council's various pumping stations were all run separately and the staff would usually meet each other once a year for their annual trip to the seaside.

Heritage Lottery fund supported
Papplewick Pumping Station is an Accredited museum
Quality assured visitor attraction