History of the Gouthwaite Board of Management

When Bradford City Corporation was making plans to create two new water supply reservoirs and a compensation reservoir at the top of Nidderdale in the late nineteenth century, local people in the dale were concerned about the overall impact on livelihoods of farmers and millowners lower in the dale.  They lobbied their local MP for a solution to their problem, and the Gouthwaite Board of Management, a board of local people to control the compensation reservoir, was created as part of the Bradford Corporation Water Act of 1890.

Gouthwaite Reservoir is the compensation reservoir specified in the Act and is described as “A reservoir for the storage of water and compensating the millowners and riparian proprietors on the River Nidd. 

 “The reservoir…..for storage of the waters flowing from the compensation area… which reservoir to be called and known as the Gouthwaite Reservoir shall be subject to the management and control of a Board of Management to consist of the millowners on the River Nidd as also of the three riparian proprietors on the river to be appointed by the County Council of the West Riding of Yorkshire, two persons to be appointed by the Corporation of York, two persons to be appointed by the York New Water Works Company and two persons to be appointed by the Knaresborough and Tentergate Improvement Commissioners, the persons so appointed being removeable by and vacancies filled by the body who appointed them.  Such Board to be called the Gouthwaite Board of Management.”

The Gouthwaite Board of Management “in order that the waters of the compensation reservoir shall be used and applied as may be the most beneficial” was set up to regulate and control the water in the reservoir and the flow from it.  The Act specified the installation of a gauge “by means of which the quantity of water passing over such gauge can be ascertained.”

The Act also specified the powers of the GBM, as follows: “…[to] make and alter rules for regulating the discharge of the water from the compensation reservoir”.  You can read more about the Rules by clicking here

You can read the Act in full by opening the PDF document below. The Act also includes a Schedule – click on the PDF document below – which lays out the terms of reference for how the meetings of the Board were to be held and conducted.

To read a short document, which deals with the key sections of the Act of Parliament which relate to the GBM, please click on the PDF “Key Sections of the Act”, below.​

Bradford Corporation Act 1890 and 1892

To view the original act of parliment

Key Sections of the 1890 Act

To view the key sections

Key paragraphs of the schedule to the 1890 Act

To view the original schedule