The Ware Road ditch

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HertfordEastEnd
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The Ware Road ditch

Post by HertfordEastEnd » Fri 23 Aug, 2019 10:46 pm

On 6 August 1856, before I moved to Hertford of course, an "East Endian" wrote to the Hertford Mercury which at that time appears to have been a broad sheet (and not the leaflet packed with adverts we now have). In his or her letter, the author complained about the state of the Ware Road ditch which, it was alleged, was "nearly as great nuisance to the public who resort to the Ware Road as a promenade on the fine summer evenings as to those who, like me, are residents." The letter goes on to mention the New River Company building a new sewer, and it also mentions converting this ditch into a sewer for the houses in the Ware-road, "which are rapidly increasing in number." On that point I wonder what the author would make of all the developments in Hertford now!

Anyway reading this article had me thinking about where this Ware Road ditch might have been? And ideas?

For those of you interested, I have pasted the letter below, and I doubt the author will mind as I am sure that he or she is now long since departed Ware Road and shuffled off this mortal coil. The letter is below:

"THE WARE ROAD DITCH.—WATE SUPPLY (To the Editor of the Heetfobd Meecuby.) Sib, am glad to observe that one of your correspondents has directed attention to the state of the Ware Road Ditch, which is nearly as great nuisance to the public who resort to the Ware Road as a promenade on the fine summer evenings as to those who, like me, are residents. I have often complained the state of the ditch, and have been told that all will be set right when the ew River Company have made their sewer. I however understand that the Company's sewer will pass along Back-street; and, in that case, do not see how the sewer will affect the Ware Road Ditch. The Company only bound to divert such sewage as already runs into the river, and as the sewage of the ditch runs nowhere, but lies and festers beneath the hot sun, or sinks into the bed of the ditch, they can have nothing to do with it. Let us then not be put off with excuses of this kind. The ditch might easily be converted into sewer for the houses in the Ware-road, which are rapidly increasing in number. Why, then, are not steps taken to adapt to this purpose? the bottom were properly levelled, and the ditch covered in, the present nuisance would be abated, and the ditch would be ready to be connected with the main sewer the New River Company, when that is completed. But when this is suggested, it is objected that there is not sufficient fall to carry off the sevv age,and that there is no water to flush the ditch with. This is as much to say that the Corporation cannot perform one duty to the public, because it has neglected to perform another. Why are the east and north ends of the town without water, when there is so ample a supply around us? We East-endians can almost echo the agonized outcry of Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner"— " Water, water, every where, and not a drop to drink." At least, if have it to drink, owe thanks only to our pumps. Por water for other uses —to which pump-water either unsuited, or cannot applied— aro wholly dependent on skiey influences." When the rain falls in heavy showers, our water-tubs filled, and our ditch washed on*'. At other times, when water most precious, and our ditch most offensive, we have it not. Now, I take it that the first duty the governing body of a towr. to apply its natural resources so as to make them tributary to the comfort and advantage of the inhabitants. this done in Hertford Why, wo are obliged to go to the river for water to lay the dust on our east-end roads, because not drop can be sparec from the mains in Pore-street, there not beins: encugh to supply the private wants of the householders in the narrow district of the town over which the water mains extend. And yet, the valley in which the town lies intersected with streams which offer an supply. All that is wanting is greater lifting power, and larger mains laid down through a mere extended district. If I ask why what is wanted is not done ? I am told that the water works cannot be improved nor the main3 extended, without money,and that money cannot be borrowed on water-rents. Now, I ask, has the Corporation ever tried ? Has ascertained that people who have got money to lend, will not lend on the security of water-rents ? I think not. For my own part. I cannot understand that water rents are greatly inferior, as a security, to water rates. The latter I kcowcan be legally enforced, whilo tho payment of the former depands upon the user of the water, and is so far optional. But what an option! when water is as necessary to us asthe bread we eat. Suffer me then.Mr. Editor, through your columns, to entreat the Corporation not to make difficulties, nor suffer others to make difficulties for them ; but boldly to take "the bull by the horns," and give us water. I warrant there will be no difficulty in getting the money, if they energetically sot about their proper work ; and that, the improvement and extension of the water works will be found to pay. Private companies can buy water, and then realize almost fabulous profits by selling it again; and it wHl be strange if we who have the water for nothing, cannot be supplied without loss. I am, Sir, yours respectfully, EAST-ENDIAN. Ware Road, August 6, 1S56."
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Steve
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Re: The Ware Road ditch

Post by Steve » Sat 24 Aug, 2019 12:32 am

I wonder if this is the Ashbourne Ditch.
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