Recollections

Liberton Filtration Plant

Edinburgh

 

Recollections

1.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds who wrote:

Late-1960s

"When I was an undergraduate in the late-1960s I worked during the summer months as a labourer at the waterworks in Liberton.  The water supply travelled thirty-five miles underground from Talla reservoir.

Here is a shot of me (left), together with another uni student (I can't recall his name) posing in front of one of the Greek 'Temples' which housed the machinery at Liberton Filtration Works."

Allan Dodds and another student worker standing in front of one of the 'Greek Temples' at Liberton Filtration Works in 1969

Landscaping

"These works were designed and built in Victorian times and were beautifully landscaped with acres of grassy banks surrounding the filtration ponds. The banks and gravel paths required constant maintenance, and my job was to cut the grass on the steeply sloping banks with an Allen scythe, and to hoe and weed several paths, hundreds of yards long, by hand as weed killers were not permitted for obvious reasons."

'Willie the Scythe'

"To assist me in this Sisyphean task was 'Willie the Scythe', a retired man of about seventy-five years of age who came out of his retirement each summer to do casual work.

Willie may have possessed no teeth but he could scythe for Scotland!  He literally shaved the grass and his skill was remarkable and his rhythm impeccable. I was so impressed watching this man at work that I even wrote a poem about him:

Scythe me a swathe by the sickle moon
And bend a blade's ear to the fallen field
(The harvest, golden, sighs by the midnight mauve).
For fear the dandelion lie
Meter me minutes.
Should crescent cleave a moment from the void
Make waxing wane, my mild mentor.

Juvenile as the poem now reads, I must have been impressed by this man."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  November 28, 2011

 

Recollections

2.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

In 'Recollection 1' above, Allan Dodds remembered Willy the Scythe.

Allan emailed me a few weeks later to let me know that he had found a couple of photos of Willie.  Thank you Allan.  Please click on the thumbnail images below to see these photos.

'Willie the Scythe'

Willie the Scythe at Liberton Filtration Plant, around 1969      

Willie the Scythe at Liberton Filtration Plant, around 1969

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  January 10, 2012 (2 emails)

 

Recollections  -  More Pages

Recollections  -   Contributors

 

 

__________________