I asked David Heatherington at Weardale Museum about the waterwheel who in turn asked Ian Forbes and Heather Ross (who lives in Cowshill and has an interesting blog http://heatherrosscowshill.blogspot.com/ )
A rapid response from all three.
It was at Allers Lea, between Lanehead and Cowshill, and used to charge low tension accumulator batteries, seems that it was probably dismantled in the early 1980's. Ian thinks it may have, originally, had a use in a mine but he's not sure which one, so that's the next query
Heather Ross comments
I have spoken to Mary Bell this morning who can remember the wheel. It was down from Low Burnt Hills at the other side of the burn, the houses you can see at the top are Burnt Hills. It was owned by Charlie Watson who died, she thinks, in the early 1980s. His nephew Stan Watson who lived at St John's Chapel inherited everything and she thinks he dismantled it then. She said Charlie had a plank of wood across the burn to get to the shed, and it was used to store the low tension accumulator batteries he had charged with the wheel. There was another wheel owned by Harry Hewitson down river but she recognises the photos as Charlies. She remembered a man walked up to Allers Lea where Charlie lived in the dark because he needed his battery so his young son could listen to a radio programme called 'The Brains Trust'."
Just as an update to the waterwheel at Lanehead, which was at Allers Lea, I had a conversation with Mike and Mavis Luff this afternoon after the "North Pennines Mines Research Group" meeting. Mike is confident the wheel came from the dressing floors at Killhope, possibly late 1940's, when the usage at Lanehead ended (1980's) it went to Crich and was dismantled and stored more recently it's found a new home and is being restored to working condition and Mike will be visiting it presently, so perhaps a new photo may emerge.
Entertaining how bits of a history arise over time.
Ian Forbes tells me that the person who took the wheel to Crich was Colin Laidler
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