Settle Hydro on TV

Barry White and Sandy Tod

Settle’s Hydro is being featured in a new TV series, “Pennines, backbone of Britain” to be screened in weekly episodes on ‘More4’. The first episode was shown on Monday 7 February at 9.00pm. The episode featuring Settle Hydro will be on the Monday 21 February. The programmes explore the magnificent upland range of the Pennines and meet the people who call its mountains, fells, hills and valleys their home.

Sandy Tod (from the ACE Energy Group) explains the background:

“The weir at Bridge End Mill, originally built in the 18th century to divert water to drive a water wheel powering Bridge End Mill now powers a turbine generating clean renewable hydro-electricity.  The weir has a wooden crest structure, which has historically required maintenance to repair damage due to floods.  By 2017, the weir was in a serious state of disrepair and an inspection showed that many of the original timber supports had rotted away and the whole structure was in danger of collapse.

“In September 2017, with help from Timberworks of Settle, emergency repairs were carried out and held up while Settle Hydro Ltd drew up plans for a more permanent solution.  A crowd-funding appeal, together with a contribution from the owners of Bridge End Mill, raised sufficient funds and in September 2021 work was carried out to replace the original wooden boards with new, and to substitute new adjustable galvanized steel supports for the original wooden wedges.

“The work was not straight-forward and created an interesting topic for the film crew while we grappled with problems on site. The crew paid a number of visits, interviewing myself and other members of the team working on the project as well as a local resident who provided background information about the mill.

“It has been interesting and challenging to work on the adaptation of 18th century engineering to provide a source of clean renewable electricity to a part of the town of Settle.  The effective operation of the weir and hydro depend on a controlled river level upstream of the weir, and a distinct improvement in output has been observed at the hydro since work was completed.

The project illustrates how the Pennine towns, formerly at the cutting edge of the industrial revolution, can make a worthwhile contribution to today’s green revolution. The picture illustrating this posting shows the weir after work was completed in early October.”

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