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Opening of the Aberdeen Waterworks 16 Oct 1866


Tuesday, October 16, 1866

At a quarter-past ten left for Ballater with Lenchen and Louise ; Christian, Arthur, the Duchess of Roxburghe and Emily Cathcart in the second; the gentlemen (General Grey, [He died on March 31, 1870. He had been with me as equerry from the time I came to the Throne. In 1846 he became Private Secretary to the Prince, and from December 1861 held the same position with me till his death. He was highly esteemed and valued by us both, and his loss grieved me deeply.] etc.) having gone on in front. We went by the railway, which was useful on this occasion. We went about three-quarters of an hour by railway, and then stopped close to Inchmarlo, Mr. Davidson’s place, not far from Kincardine O’Neil. Here we got into carriages—Lenchen and Louise with me,—Christian, Arthur, and the two equerries, etc., in the next. About twenty minutes’ drive took us to Inrercannic, where the' ceremony took place. I got out and stood outside the tent while the Lord Provost (whom I knighted at Aberdeen in 1863) read the address. Then I had to read my answer, which made me very nervous; but I got through it well, though it was the first time I had read anything since my darling Husband was taken from me. Then came the turning of the cock, and it was very pretty to see the water rushing up.

These waterworks are on a most extensive scale, and are estimated to convey to the city 6,000,000 gallons of water daily. The water is from the river Dee, from which it is diverted at Cairnton, about four miles above Banchory. The principal features of the works are a tunnel 760 yards in length, which is cut through the hill of Cairnton, composed of solid rock of a very hard nature. At the end of the tunnel is the Invercannie Reservoir, where the ceremony took place. This reservoir is estimated to contain 15,000,000 gallons of water. It is just two years and a half since the first turf of the undertaking was cut, and the cost of the works is 130,000/. The ceremony was over in less than a quarter of an hour, and we returned as we came, stopping a moment at the door of Mr. Davidson’s house, where his daughter presented me with a nosegay. The day was fine and mild. The people were very kind, and cheered a good deal.

We got back at twenty minutes past two.


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