Above: Members of Stockport Corporation attend the opening ceremony of Fernilee Reservoir in 1937.
Above: Click the image to view a cine film taken of the Inauguration ceremony at the start of construction in 1932.
The construction of the twin reservoirs of Fernilee and Errwood completely changed the Goyt Valley, altering a way of life that had existed for many centuries in this rural part of Derbyshire between Buxton and Whaley Bridge.
Farming families who had eked a hard living for generations were forced from the land. Providing drinking water to the growing towns to the northwest was seen as a far more important priority. But in many ways, the farmers’ loss was our gain.
Today, visitors come from far and wide to enjoy the many footpaths which criss-cross this wonderfully picturesque part of the Peak District National Park. The story of how the landscape came to be changed so dramatically is an interesting one.
With the kind permission of local historian, Norman Brierley, I’ve copied a post from the Whaley Bridge History website which explains how the seeds were sown back in 1825 with a parliamentary act to improve the water supply to the fast-growing town of Stockport and surrounding villages.