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Infrastructure - Drainage
 
Amber Hill, Drainage Scoop Wheel
Amber Hill, Drainage Scoop Wheel
Amber Hill, Drainage Scoop Wheel

For many years the principal form of pump used to drain the Fens was a scoop wheel comprising an array of flat wooden paddles rotating in a narrow slot and capable of lifting a surprisingly large mass of water through a height of a few feet (eg, Dogdyke could raise 25 tons per minute).

Initially these scoop wheels were wind-powered then steam was introduced.

By the time that diesel engine power came into use the more efficient centrifugal pump had been developed and scoop wheels largely disappeared.

This example of a scoop wheel was photographed in 1972 at Amber Hill.

It is standing adjacent to the brick tower of the windmill which powered it.

Chris Lester, 1972

Amber Hill, drainage, scoopwheel, windmill,
Belton (Axholme), Dirtness Pumping Station
Belton (Axholme), Dirtness Pumping Station
Belton (Axholme), Dirtness Pumping Station

Dirtness Pumping Station (SE 749098) was built in 1867 in polychrome brick on the North Engine Drain between the parishes of Crowle and Belton on the Isle of Axholme.

It housed two 50hp Watt engines driving a 33ft (10.1m) diameter scoop wheel which was capable of lifting 1200 tonnes of water per hour.

It is still in use with electric pumps.

Chris Lester, 2003
Belton Axholme, drainage, pumping,
Boston, Grand Sluice
Boston, Grand Sluice
Boston, Grand Sluice

The Witham Navigation was created in the 1760s and ended at the Grand Sluice, with the tidal haven beyond the sluice.

The Great Northern Railway crossed the river at this point and by the date of this picture the river was used for recreation rather than commerce, as these rowing boats show.

Postcard, c1912
Boston, sluice, navigation, witham,
Boston, Maud Foster Drain, Cowbridge
Boston, Maud Foster Drain, Cowbridge
Boston, Maud Foster Drain, Cowbridge
An angling competition is depicted alongside the Maud Foster Drain which is about two miles north of Boston town centre in the Edwardian period.

The road on the right-hand bank is the present B1183 to Horncastle; the public house on the extreme right is thought to be the Cowbridge House Inn.

Hundreds of anglers travelled by train from Sheffield and the Midlands for sport in both the Witham and the fenland drains at this time.

Undated postcard
Boston, angling, witham, drain,
New Leake, Lade Bank Pumping Station
New Leake, Lade Bank Pumping Station
New Leake, Lade Bank Pumping Station

The fine steam-powered pumping station of 1867 has been retained, even though it was succeeded by a new structure containing diesel pumps in 1938, (seen here to the right background).

The pumps lift water from a large area of the East Fen into the Hobhole Drain, which runs south into the Haven SE of Boston.

New Leake, Lade Bank Pumping Station, Hobhole Drain, East Fen,
New&nbnsp;Leake, Lade Bank Pumping Station
New&nbnsp;Leake, Lade Bank Pumping Station
New&nbnsp;Leake, Lade Bank Pumping Station

This fine pumping station (TF 379 545), was built in 1867, to pump water from the East Fen into the Hobhole Drain which runs south to Boston Haven.

Diesel pumps were installed in 1940 but the boiler chimney from the days of steam pumping has been retained.

Hobhole Drain formed part of an extensive network of navigable waterways in the area and there are the remains of a lock alongside the pumping station.

This early photograph appears to show work completing the lock and the pumping station outfall.

Old Leake, Lade Bank Pumping Station
Owston Ferry, Pumping Station
Owston Ferry, Pumping Station
Owston Ferry, Pumping Station

The Pumping Station (viewed from the north) is situated by the River Trent at Owston Ferry.

It was built in 1910 to drain 5000 acres of the Isle of Axholme to the west.

The station contains an original Marshall of Gainsborough steam engine and later diesel engines by Ruston and Hornsby and
Lister-Blackstone.

Ken Redmore, 2008

Owston Ferry, pumping station, drainage, Isle of Axholme,
Owston Ferry, Pumping Station
Owston Ferry, Pumping Station
Owston Ferry, Pumping Station

The Pumping Station (viewed from the South) is situated by the River Trent at Owston Ferry.

It was built in 1910 to drain 5000 acres of the Isle of Axholme to the west.

The station contains an original Marshall of Gainsborough steam engine and later diesel engines by Ruston & Hornsby and
Lister-Blackstone.

Ken Redmore, 2008

Owston Ferry, pumping station, Marshall, Ruston & Hornsby, Lister-Blackstone,