Whisky and water link three otherwise random news stories, two from 1895 and one from 1833. The first is a cautionary tale about drink (but not as you might expect). The second shows an interesting attitude to ‘hot and cold running’.
And the third shows an enterprising spirit (pun intended) from the good folk of Workington.
The water drinker
In 1833, the death notices in the Carlisle Journal of August 17 included one of a weaver named James Room, of Longtown.
James Room was ‘a man of very laborious habits, and the chief support of an aged mother.’
He was also very fond of water.
The Journal reported that one quart of water on a cold winter’s day was for him a ‘moderate draught’. Before working out that he probably drank at least six gallons a week, or 6,240 barrels in 20 years.
It doesn’t say what James Room died of, but given he was only 46, it’s not a great advert for water!
No water on tap…
1895 March 8 Patriot.
East Westmorland Rural District Council.
The cost of the Templesowerby (sic) water scheme was: Kirbythore £1,182 11s; Templesowerby, £820 13s 6d; Newbiggin, £478 13s 6d. It was agreed to apply to the Local Government Board for borrowing powers of £2,500.
The Inspector said he had visited Stoneriggs Farm and found the house without water spouts or drainage. The water supply and tank, and whole premises, were in a wretched state.
…but a spring under the stairs
Mr Pearson said there was no better water in England that there was to be found on the premises. There were two grand springs close to the house.
The Inspector said there was one underneath the staircase in the house, and its state was such that it ought not to be allowed.
It was decided that the clerk give notice to the owner to remedy the defects complained of.
Whisky and water
Elsewhere in the same paper…
An escape of water in Derwent Street, Workington, on Saturday was caused by frost fracturing a water main.
The water flooded three cellars in Griffin Street, including the Black Lion Inn. There, it found its way into a case of whisky, forcing out the bung. The borough surveyor found a water/whisky mix coming up through a grating.
It became known that Mr Topping had lost the whisky, and people came to the pump with tins, pots and other vessels.
The proportion of whisky to water, however, was little more than enough to give it a flavour.