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OUR LONDON LETTER .

LICENSED VICTUALLERS' i BANQUET.

THE CRAY WAfER WORKS.

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THE CRAY WAfER WORKS. THE MAYORESS CUTS THE FIRST SOD. IN rERESTING CEREMONY.— YESTERDAY. THE PROGRESS OF THE WORK. The members of the Swansea Corporation who ) travelled to Cray yesterday to take part in the ceremony of cutting the first sod, came back convinced that the Cray valley was one of the best places in the country for water. Not that it was raining. The evidences were all under foot. Overhead the sun shone brilliantly, obscured only now and again by black rain-clouds scudding across the sky, and tempering the sharp invigorating air of the Breconshire mountains. A large party, mainly members of the Corpora- tion, accepted the invitation of the Mayor, and left the Midland Station at 10.20 on Thursday morning. An hourl or so later the train carried them close by the scene of operations. But on and on the train went until a primitive little station was reached in a high altitude. Here the party alighted and proceeded, some in brakes and others on foot, in the direction of the Corpora- tion's ground, nearly two miles distant. The pure and bracing mountain air was as greatly enjoyed as anything. At the Cray, the contractors, Messrs. Paterson and Sons, had made very comfortable arrangements for the visitors, the sodden ground of the mountain-side being laid with planks. Not far from the main road, and on the site of the acoess road to the reservoir, the party halted, and the interesting ceremony of cutting the first sod was performed by the Mayoress (Mrs. Aerou. Thomas). The party consisted of the Mayor and Mayoress, the Mayor and Mayoress-elect (Mr. and Mrs. Richard Martin), Aldermen Dd. Harris, Mayne, M. Tutton, Gwilym Morgan, Mr. R. H. Wyrill (Boro' Engineer) and Mrs. Wyrill, Mr. Hutton (deputy-engineer), Mr. Ernest Perkins, Mr. Barnett (resident engineer) and Mrs. Barnett, Mr. McConnel (contractors' engineer), Mr. J. P^te".on. Mr. Paterson, Junr., Mr. W. Watkins (vice-chairman of the Water Committee), Councillors Howel Watkins, Wm. Williams> J- H. Lee, Rees Jones, John Tucker, Roger Thomas, W. W. Abraham, Griffith Davies, John akidmore, W. H. Spring, Wm. Evans, John Griffiths, James Jones, E. G. Protheroe, Morgan HopJriQ. Captain Thomas (deputy Chiet Constable), Mr. Jevons (deputy Town Clerk), Jar. l). C. John, Mr. A. Oborn (assistant engineer), Mr. Griffith Thomas (Chair- man Swansea Harbour Truat), Mr. A. O. Schenk (Harbour Engineer), Dr. Eben. Davies (Medical Officer of Health), Mr. G. Bransby Williams, Mr. Thomas, the Rev. Prebendary Garnons Williams, Miss Williams> Mr. McTurk, Mr. Craig (assistant engineer), Dr. Jones (Senny Bridge), the Rev. Ogwen Davies, Mr. Deer (Rio Tinto Copper works), Mr. Isaacs (architect), Mr. W. Joseph (surveyor), Mr. Wm. Williams (architect), and others. Mr. Paterson, junr., here presented the Mayoress witn a magnificent si|Tor Spade on behalf of his rm, and the Mayoress deposited the first sod in a spacious wheelbarrow. The ice, or, more correctly speaking, the earth, having thus been broken, the members of the party proceeded to inspect the works. From the slope where the sod was cut, the view is ma-nificglnt. Far away towards the north- west tne misty peaks of the Van mountaius rise into the sky, enveloped now and again by clouds which threaten the party with a drenching. To the southward the old red sandstone peak of Van Gyhiryoh rises siarp and lfcely against the sky line. We look down mto a valley formed by nearer, less pretentious hills, but hills destined in the future to be at least as useful as Van Gyhu-yc proved when his aspiring top saved the silica quarries ot Penwylit from the worst effects of tne glacier. Below us the two principal streams, Gyhiryoh and Blaencray, swollen by recen floods, hop merrily over the red sandstone beds at the foot of the hill, in 1 ey disappear round the corner to volume of the Cray before its junction with the Usk. Into these streamlets numerous smaller ones emptied themselves, while here and there cou be seen a beautiful spring bubbling to the surface. Iq fact) betwe(P £ and the bro k mountain opposite and under the darJf ]a. °]T °f the Bwlch, the whole valley to full of water, clear as crystal. Beneath the frowniUg hiil at our back, wmch is between 1,200 and 1,300 feet above the sea-level, the Gyhirych COInes tumbling down over the side of the rock, making a very pretty Little wsLter-fall with **0oka of brown and crannies of green fern. Here the MoTurks have their sheep-washing-an important festival which lasts a days. To make steps down to the pool below the fau, they or their pre- decessors phioed saorilegioua hands Qn Druidical stones once resting on yonder summit, and reduced them to tbe base u^es of sheep-washing. If we remember V^ Jac^Je °1(1 Welsh historian has identified Jtoaes, to-day desecrated by the careless ^et ° Mr. McTurk's thoughtless myrmidons, as M t r Peder Gaivres (the stones of the Four ) which were once ranged on the mOUP ln the same order as the Pleiades. A eon,.036^ ^aa been made which will prevent of the reservoir during the dayi3 ° ep-washing, and it is quite possible that as table place will be elsewhere provided Mr. Mclu k. In time of flood the Gyhirych is da and 3 feet deep. At this altitude, ve^ ODDed scarce and stunted, the turf is close- PP he hedges are low, and of trees there art> next to none. Here and there the coarse brown .ei*:nil shows through the holes ot berth S ">ent of green. But the air is magnificent, lending a glow of health to the palest cheek and elasticity to the feeblest step. The sturdy 8 of the mountains will form the bank8 0 Q reaervoir on the right and lett facing thron' v!°^ ^own the bed will be the outlet through the tunnel, and at the bottom there e the dam stoppmg the water from running away as it now does the Cray and the Usk. The party to the valley, and they soon became the resources of Cray. There w»s s^cely a dry spot on the hills. Water was ev y e jf no^ -n bubbling brooks, then in sheets. a.8 not pleasant walking, but the members ro„|i0rPor°tion who ventured on the journey repaid by what they saw. One of the fir» °f activity met with was the making ot yne new road instead of the old parish road which ran at the foot of the valley. An idea of the ? ° and extent of the dam can be gather the excavations that have recently if. :ance^- In some places the bed-rock, where reaohJri far below the surface, has already belln reached. Not far from the site of the clan, and at perhaps the lowest place in the reservoir, the t as already been commenced -18 yards out ot 4 770 Xhe tunnel faag tQ be made through exceptionally ^ard rocb) with her0 and there, perha.p a be^ 0f soft material. The whole of the geol.^al Ration from Penwyllt to the northward is Old^ Red Sandstone, and the tunnel has to be made through the blue beds of this formation. ve the mouth of the tunnel, the dam will rise to a height of a hundred feet, making a water area 0t loo acres, with a maximum depth ot 100 feet. Thus the reservoir will hold a thousand milhoa gallons, and ths capacity of the watersheds to collect this enormous quantity may be gauged from the fact that with a record rainfall of from two to three inches the reservoir can be filled, approximately, in two days.. On the ground tnat in a few years will be buried under water, quarrying and stone-crush- ing operations are going on the native stone being of particularly good quality. Outside the dam a little township 0f corrugated iron and brick huts is raP^dly springing up, and it was in this portion ot the work, in the pro- vision of accommodation and of material and moral comforts for the hundreds of men who will soon be employed on the work, that the members of the Corporation evinced the greatest interest yesterday. Here we could gam some id'!a of the thoroughness with which Mr. ihomas Freeman and the Water and Sewers Committee have gone about their work. The dry-store, well stocked with the best of everything, the spacious, com- fortably-fitted canteen, the cellars, the bake- house, the coffee-room, and the jug ancj bottle department, all these when completed will be an admira-ble piece of work. Already they are a credit to the manager, Mr. Win. Richards. Then there are the living rooms, which possess every comfort for those who will have to live in that bleak spot during the winter months.^ Behind the work- men's huts, the Corporation will erect the mission room, and when this and other things are completed it cannot be said that the Swansea Corporation has neglected the lot of the navvy. The workmen's huts will be comfortable little homes, and there is no reason why a model though temporary community should not spring up around Cray within the next few years. THE LUNCHEON. After inspecting the works, the company ad- journed to the office of the resident engineer, where they were entertained to luncheon by the Mayor. The catering was entrusted to Messrs. J. Williams and Co High-street, Brecon, and the rechn-che luncheon which was provided did their establishment ample credit. The following was the menu—and, needless to say, the luncheon was greatly enjoyed by appetites accentuated by the I bracing1 air of the Brecon mountains SOUP Ox Tail. REMOVES REMOVES: Sirloin of Beef. Haunch Matton. Veal and Ham Pies. Pigeon Pies. Roast Chickens. York Ham. Ox Tongue. Lobster Salad. Dressed Salad. swrnsTS: Apple Tart and Cream. Cheese Cake and Jam Tart. Wine Jellies. Blanc Mange. Celery. Cheese. Biscuits. After luncheon the Mayor submitted The Queen remarking that they had come to Cray that day to mark an event of some importance to Swansea. It was of importance to the extent that Swansea would have to pay for it; and he hoped that before long the town would materially benefit from the undertaking. Upon such an occasion it was well to remember that we lived in a country which was proud of its Queen and of the constitution by which we enjoyed the greatest benefits of municipal control. (Applause.) The toast having been musically honoured, Canon Garnons Williams proposed the health of the Mayor and Mayoress (Mr. and Mrs. Aeron Thomas) and the Mayor and Mayoress-elect (Mr. and Mrs. Rd. Martin). Mr. Williams said it had been great pleasure to him within the last few weeks to have met the Mayor and other members of the Corporation of Swansea on several inter- esting occasions. He was ohairman of the bench of magistrates that granted the licence for the canteen and he was also chairman of the County licensing committee that confirmed it. It had gratified him very much to note the great care and desire of the Mayor and the authorities of Swansea, that the men employed on the works should have proper moral and religious care, and that their recreation should be looked atter. (Hear, hear.) He most I. earnestly hoped that the wishes of the Corpora- tion would be successfully carried out. (Ap- plause.) It had given him very great pleasure— and he considered it an honour—to be present at the reception given to the Archbishop of Canterbury by the Mayor of Swansea. When the last Archbishop came to Swansea — he thought it was Archbishop Tait—at the time of the Church Congress many years ago, the chief magistrate of Swansea was a medical gentleman, andby a strange power possessed by theArchbishop of Canterbury, that Mayor was created an M.D. The Archbishop also had powers to confer the degree of D.D. He did not know whether the present Mayor of Swansea aspired to that honour or not; but at any rate there were other honours that might be given to the Mayor and Mayoress of Swansea. Why should there not be a Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress in Wales—(applause) —as well as in London and other towns. He was sure that all who witnessed the graceful manner in which the Mayoress had performed her duties that day would wish to see her the Lady Mayoress of Wales. (Applause.) He could not help thinking, when he saw that good lady looking over the beautiful valley that was soon to become a lake, of Longfellow's "Hiawatha," and the heroine with the lovely name, '"Minnehaha," laughing water. He hoped what had been begun tnat day would be of great benefit to Swansea. He was glad that they had some of their Beconshire waters in the great Welsh town of Swansea. He had an idea that the Welsh waters should be for Welsh towns and he did not look forward with any very great pleasure to the idea of London taking away the water from Wales, (Hear, hear). In any case, he should like first to see the teaming populations of the adjoming counties of Glamorgan and Monmouth satisfied. As a Breconshire man, he was delighted to give tiiat- toast. (Applause). The toast was enthusiastically drunk. The Mayor, responding, on behalf of the Mayoress and himself, thanked Canon William. especially for his approval of the step they had taken lately in providing accommodation for the moral, and, he hoped, for the convivial welfare of the navvies that were to be employed in that work. They approached the Bench with some fear, and trembling, but when the magistrates were convinced that they had no selfish or mercenary object in view they very soon intimated that the application would be very favourably received. His Worship hoped the departure they had made —though it was certainly following Birmingham —from the ordinary mode of providing people with the necessaries of life would prove advantageous and would be followed by many people later on. He had also to thank the members of the Corporation for their presence, and for the honour they had conferred upon his wife in giving her the privilege of cutting the first sod of that important work. (Applause). He also wished to acknowledge, and that with sincere gratitude, his sense of appreciation of the contractors for the very handsome spade they had presented to the Mayoress. (Applause). As long as they lived it would be a pleasure to look at that handsome gift, and when they were called away he hoped it would go down as a slight token of the kindness of the people of the past towards the mother of some who, he hoped, would live afterwards. In public life they had a good many things that they had reason to be gratetul for. On the other hand, they had a good many kicks. (Laughter). But whatever might be the drawbacks, the fact that occasionally an honour ot that sort was conferred upon a public man by acknow- ledging his better half, would go a long way towards making up for them. (Hear, hear.) They were there that day to formally commence a very important undertaking. He hoped it would go through successfully, and that the contractors would do it so well that there would be no leakage—(hear, hear)—that, as an eminent engineer said of another embank- ment, it would last until the crack of doom. This he was certain of, that there was no greater obligation upon municipal government than to provide the community with a pure and ample supply of water. That was the first and bounden duty. He believed the revenue to be ultimately derived from the Cray Works would make it a remunerative investment. In the past Swansea had suffered considerably from mistakes in the matter ot water supply but he hoped in the future the supply would be ample and pure, and when the prosperity which was bound to come reached Swansea, future generations would approve of the reservoir which was to be built at Cray. (Applause.) He supposed that was the last occasion upon which he would address them as Mayor, and he would like to say that during his year of office he had been most invariably hand- somely treated—though there were exceptions. (Laughter.) He would look back upon his Mayoralty with very pleasant recollections, more pleasant than any others in his life. (Applause.) I' Mr. Richard Martin (the Mayor-elect), respond- ing on behalf of the Mayoress-elect and himself, remarked upon the good weathar with which the ceremony bad been favoured. But even if it had been raining as it did on Wednesday, he should have come up. He should not have allowed the ceremony of cutting the first sod to have passed without being present. Io wss the sequence to a day he would always remember, when he visited the spot first. It was in company with a gentleman who, unfortunately they had lost, the late Alderman James Naysmith. He (Mr. Naysmith) had conceived the notion that that was the spot for Swansea's future water supply. He asked him (Mr. Martin) to go up and see the spot, and he toll him that he had not broached the subject to anyone else. He wanted his opinion first. When he (Mr. Martin) went up it struck him at once that it was an ideal gathering ground for the water supply of Swansea. He was, therefore, glad to be present to see the first public function of carrying out a work that would satisfy the wants of Swansea for many years to come. They had come to the right spot. If they had been up there on Wednesday— (laughter)—it would have been proved to them. They had entered into a great speculation; but it was for an ample supply of pure water. That we had not got, and no cost was too great to provide everyone in Swansea with it. Until that was done their duty as a Corporation was not fulfilled. (Applause.) Mr. William Watkins, the vice chairman of the Water and Sewers Committee, pro- posed the toast of "The Contractors." At the outset, Mr. Watkins expressed his regret on behalf of Mr. Thomas Freeman, Chairman of the Water and Sewers Committee, for the absence of the latter, who was confined to his home with a cold. He was supposed to propose the toast of the contractors, and by an old contractor himself, if it were possiblo to say anything hard about contractors, they must not expect him to say it. (Laughter). He had not had much to do with the contractors yet, but the little he had had proved to him in the first place that they were Scotchmen and rather canny. (Laughter.) That was a proof, he thought, that they had selected contractors who were likely to render them a fair amount of work for the money they were going to pay them. He was not going to say anything bad of engineers but he had always thought it would be a good thing if engineers commenced their careers by being contractors. They would then be a little more merciful towards them. Specifications—the Mayor would pardon him for saying so—were something like deeds, more words than were required. If every engineer and architect insisted on the work being carried out to the letter of the specifications he thought there would scarcely be a solvent contractor in the United Kingdom. (Laughter.) He was going to recommend the contractor to try to agree with the engineers. On the other hand, he strongly advised the engineers to be on good terms with the contractors, because, he might tell them, if a contractor was determined to cheat them he would do it. (Loud laughter.) Mr. J. Paterson (principal of the firm of J. Paterson and Sons) responded and said he w^s glad the initial ceremony had been so splendidly carried out. The next time the Corporation ot Swansea came to view the ground there would be more to look at. Mr. Watkins had struck a very fine key-note, that of good fellowship with the engineers and good friendship with the Water Committee, and as head of the firm of John Paterson and Sons, be would endeavour to maintain the very best relationships. (Ap- plause.) Mr. Paterson, Junr., who has^charge of the work at the Cray, also responded. After a song, Hearts of Oak," by Councillor Wm. Williams, The ex-Mf yor (Mr. Howel Watkins) proposed the health of the Engineer. A student once asked an old painter what he mixed b a colours with, and the reply was, Brains, air, biaina," Whatever may have been said of the other toasts, be rose to propose the toast of brains. (Hear, hear.) There was one important sense in which it could be said to be complete. It was complete in the mind of Mr. Wyrill. (Hear, hear.) He had thought it out and studied it month after month, and year after year. When he saw the rolls of plans, he thought how much they indicated of the thought and intelligence and capacity of the Borough Engineer. (Applause.) There was an old saying that the Queen never went out to perform a public ceremony without the sun shining upon her; and he was glad to see that the queen of Abertawe—(applause)—had brought a very successful year to such a happy close. (Applause.) Mr. Wyrill, in returning thanks, said it was gratifying to „him to find such a kindly feeling at that stage of the work. At the same time, it was the wrong moment to make a speech from an engineering point of view. He lilted to see the work when finished. They had heard a great deal more on a previous occasion about a last trump, about the work being of bad standing power, and so on, that it should act as a deterrent to long and jubilant speeches at so early a stage. But he eould assure them that the utmost thought would be put to the work, and he felt sure with the combined talent, which consisted of Scotch, Welsh, Irish and English, that they might rely upon a successful result. At any rate, they would attain that result if they continued in the workmanlike way in which the contractors were doing their work. They liked to do the work well, making sure that nothing would have to be done a second time. (Applause.) 1 l.e Mayor proposed "The Visitors," and express*! pleasure at seeing Mr. Yourdi, the visiting engineer of the Birmingham Water Works at Rhayader, present. When a sub- committee of the Swansea Corporation visited Rhayader, they bad a very hearty reception at the hands ot Mr. Yourdi, who placed his train at their service, and accompanied them during the whole day and gave them very valuable assistance. He also noticed with pleasure the presence of Mr. Morgan Thomas, a large landed proprietor, and Mr. Mciurk. it was to their interests that they should live agxeeably as neighbours. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Yourdi, in reply, said they had seen the inauguration ot a very large undertaking, and he might say that he knew that the work was in the hands of very capable men. Mr. Morgan Thomas also replied and expressed the hope that the undertaking would prove successful, and that the Swansea Corporation would not have cause to regret that they came to Breconshire for water. They had not come a moment too soon, for if they had been later other large towns might have secured it, and as Welsh- men, the Breconshire people preferred that Welsh towns should havw it. (Hear, hear.) Mr. McTurk assured them that there was an ample supply of water at Cray, and lif the town should ever find it short by reason of growth, all they had to do was to put another ten feet to the embankment. For hie own part ne. would always be ready to meet the Corporation of Swansea in the best spirit. (Applause.) Mr. Griffith Thomas (the Chairman of the Swansea Harbour Trust) also responded. He congratulated the Corporation upon the inaugura- tion of a splendid work. If the town of Swansea was going to increase, as they beliwred it would, there was nothing of greater importance than a good water supply, and he was satisfied that there was such a supply at Cray. He did not agree with a lot of the sallies delivered at the Corporation of Swansea. They were doing a great work, and ke thought the Cray scheme was the greatest of its works. No doubt they should have the least possible rates but on the other hand pro- gress was greatly required in these days, and he was certain that for the future of Swansea there was a great store. He believed they would see a great many works from the Midlands coming to the seaboard shortly. (Applause). The company then returned to the station whence the special train conveyed them back to Swansea after a most enjoyable and useful day. ORIGIN OF THE CRAY SCHEME. The Cray scheme, it is interesting to recall, was first mooted about even years ago. At that time the Cor-poration were considerably exercised about the question of additional water supply. After looking about in many directions the late Alderman Naysmith came to the rescue of the town with the admirable suggestion that Swansea should seek its supply in the valley of the Cray, in Breconshire. Mr. Naysmith was in the habit of fishing in this neighbourhood, and, like every good disciple of Isaac Walton, had observed the quality and purity of the water. Mr. Wyrill provided ample data fully bearing out the favourable statements of Mr. Naysmith. Eminent engineers, such as Mr. Abnerthy and Mr. Hill, were called in, and as they confirmed Alderman Naysmith and Mr. Wyrill, a Bill was promoted in Parliament empowering the Corporation to spend £270,000 on the scheme. Considerable opposition was offered, especially by the Fisheries Board, but in June, 1892, the Bill received the Royal assent. The chairman of the committee during these years, and for some considerable time after, was Mr. R. Martin, the Mayor-Elect, and it was due to his masterly presentation of the case that a scheme, involving an expenditure of over a quarter of a million sterling, received such general support in the Council. The scheme may be naturally divided into four parts—viz.: the reservoir, the dam, the tunnel, and the pipe track. On the first two about £150,000 will be expended, on the tunnel £50,000, and on the pipe track £60,000. Having regard, however, to certain further charges, not contemplated when the original estimates were made out, it is expected that the total expenditure will not fall far short of £300,000. THE DAM AND THE TUNNEL. The dam will be 1,400 feet long and 100 feet in depth, at the deepest part, while the width will be about 70 feet. The wall will arch slightly out towards the reservoir, and will be built of what is popularly described as concrete, but what is more properly, rubble masonry. This is material out of which some of the great dams of the king- dom are constructed, such as that of the Vyrnwy works, and those of Birmingham at Rhayader. The tunnel will run from the bottom of the reservoir under Bwlch, coming out in the Swansea Valley—a total length of 2i miles. It will be 7 feet in diameter and, except where it penetrates the rock, will be lined with brick. The greatest distance from the surface of the land will be immediately above Bwlcb, where the tunnel is 360 feet under ground. When the water issues at Nantywyth—a couple of miles from Madame Patti's castle, it will flow in the open for a short distance, through land purchased by the Corpora- tion, and then run into the pipes which will convey it to Swansea. In speaking of the Cray reservoir as being 1,000 feet above the sea-level, a better idea of what this means may be given by saying that it represents a heignt almost as great again as that of Town Hill, which at its highest point is only 575 feet above the sea-level. The distance from the reservoir to Swansea is about 26 miles, so that deducting the 2i miles of tunnel, there will be pipinff for over 23 miles. The water may be supplied en route to villages like Abercrave, Ystradgynlais, Ystal.vfera, Glais, Pontardawe, and Clydach. When it reaches Swansea the pressure will be such that it will be impossible to deliver the water straight into the present mains, and it is. therefore, intended to erect a covered service reservoir at Town Hill. The pipe-track will be sufficient for the conveyance of three million gallons per day- half the available quantity. The first year of the 20th century will probably be waning before the householders of Swansea will be able to taste a drop of Cray water.

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