This crowd gathered below Stanbury on a glorious August day in 1925 to witness the official inauguration of the Sladen Valley Waterworks which, because of its location astride the Sladen Beck and near the site of Lower Laithe Farm, is also known as Lower Laithe Reservoir.

Construction, interrupted by the Great War, took more than a decade and cost more than £500,000, a very large sum in 1925. The embankment seen here is 1,010 feet long and 84½ feet above the stream-bed. When full the reservoir covers 31½ acres, with a maximum depth of 60 feet and a total capacity of 281¼ million gallons.

Upwards of 8,000 attended this inauguration, including hundreds on the valley slopes and moors above. Local dignitaries ceremonially turned a variety of valves; Alderman W A Brigg, chairman of the Waterworks Committee since 1915, connected the reservoir to the filter basin, while Keighley Mayor Robert Calverley connected the filter tank with the clear water basin.

To the Marquis of Hartington fell the honour of turning both the first and the last valves, releasing the contents of the clear water basin into the pipes towards Keighley, “his action”, in the words of the Keighley News of the time, “being punctuated by cheers”.

The photograph has been supplied by Mr Ian Brierley, of Bridgehouse Lane, Haworth.