February 21, 2012, by S Colborne

Water work: the staff of the River Trent Catchment Board

River Trent Catchment Board Drawing Office interior with male and female staff at work, 1938

River Trent Catchment Board Drawing Office interior with male and female staff at work; 1938 (from RE/DOP/X/1/5)

 

A large leather-bound photograph album, found amongst the archive material I’ve been cataloguing for our water records project, gives an introduction to the work of the Engineer’s Department of the River Trent Catchment Board and the significant events that affected its activities in the years 1932-1939. These events include the building of new premises, and the serious floods of 1932 which highlighted the need for urgent maintenance work on the rivers within the catchment.

River Trent Catchment Board staff transporting ladle cooled slag

River Trent Catchment Board staff involved in the construction of a Half Tide Wall for the River Trent at West Butterwick, Lincolnshire, transporting ladle cooled slag; 1936 (RE/DOP/X/1/49)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The album gives some insight into what it was like to work for the Catchment Board, from the scenes of female staff at work in the Drawing Office, to action photos of elderly workmen in flat caps balancing heavy barrows along narrow planks linking river banks to dredging vessels or pontoons. Curiosities include photographs of a whale pulled from the River Trent near Keadby in Lincolnshire, and a shot of the Board’s head office on Derby Road protected by sandbags for the ‘September crisis 1938’ (perhaps in reaction to the Munich or Sudeten crisis – any suggestions are welcome!).

River Trent Catchment Board Head Office on Derby Road during 'September Crisis 1938' showing front face protected with sandbags

River Trent Catchment Board Head Office on Derby Road during 'September Crisis 1938' (RE/DOP/X/1/5/1)

 

 

 

 

Posted in Water resources