150th Anniversary Celebrations 1st September 2007
This event was conceived and devised by the Ogden Water site manager David Wilson. The idea was to recreate the dam as a promenade to resemble it’s mid Victorian origins when, as now, the site was a huge tourist attraction. On Sundays, the local people of Halifax would dress up, arrange rendezvous and go for a stroll.
After securing the requisite permissions from Yorkshire Water to start work on the embankment, we set about raising the funds to install two sets of cast iron gates, six benches and three gas lamps, all in the original style of the mid nineteenth century. This choice of lay-out was inspired by original photographs from the very early twentieth century.
An initial target of £8000 was set to pay for the costs which were primarily for the gates and gas lamps. Yorkshire Water agreed to pay for the gates, the benches were sponsored by private individuals and The Friends of Ogden Water co-ordinated and raised the rest of the funds which included private donations, money raised through activities and £1000 from the Rokeby Lodge of Blackwall, Halifax.
Some of our fund raising activities included a series of Art Exhibitions and a summer fete as well as the sale of the notorious Ogden dinosaur ( originally created for Halloween and eventually sold to Kershaw’s Garden Centre ).
The work itself was done by the site rangers, Friends and volunteers and the Calderdale Countryside Unit works team.
September 1st saw our official opening ceremony as the Mayor of Calderdale cut the ribbon to commemorate our 150th anniversary and open the promenade. Executives and directors from Yorkshire Water attended the ceremony along with local councillors and our MP, Linda Riordan.
An authentic fairground organ played at the end of the promenade, courtesy of Lawrence’s funeral directors and the Halifax boys and girls brigade marching band entertained the crowds who came along to support the event. Local press and television covered the proceedings and the ceremony was a huge success.
An exhibition of old and new photographs in the Visitors Centre proved a major attraction as people enjoyed refreshments and cream teas throughout the day.
A splendid plaque on the dam wall, created by local engravers Briggs Priestley, thanks all our contributors.