Reported in the News Letter on October 3, 1957: New reservoir ‘stands as a tribute to the skill and work involved’


Belfast’s water storage will be augmented by 1,700,000,000 gallons through the inauguration yesterday of the new Ben Crom reservoir, which will feed Silent Valley reservoir and add to the regular storage of water by about 60 per cent.

The Ben Crom reservoir, which is built above the Silent Valley reservoir and a “feed” to it, is “trapped” by a dam 700 feet long and 125 feet high, which took almost three years to build.

The new reservoir was formally opened yesterday by Dr Wallace Linton, chairman of Belfast Water Commissioners, who, in the presence of his fellow commissioners, pressed a button to start the flow to the Silent Valley.

Sir William Neil, chairman of the works committee, at the foot of the enormous dam wall, said: “This reservoir stands as a tribute to the energy, skill and manual work involved. It’s completion brings the Mourne Scheme near to its end.”

At a luncheon after the official opening ceremony, Mr Ernest Rea, proposing the toast to the chairman of the Water Board, said that early in 1901 the Mourne Scheme had been started and now it had a storage capacity of 4,700,000,000 gallons.