A new documentary, Wild Water, celebrates a hardy group of enthusiasts who hike up boglands to swim year-round in a remote mill pond built during the Industrial Revolution
Gaddings Dam was built as a mill pond in about 1833, when the Industrial Revolution positioned West Yorkshire and the north of England as the centre of the developed world’s cotton-spinning and weaving mills. It sits above the market town of Todmorden, out of sight on the moor of Langfield Common, with a sandy beach that claims to be the highest in England.
The Gaddings Dam Preservation Company bought the deeds to the reservoir in 2001 for £1,500, on the condition that it was preserved for the people of Todmorden. These days, with restricted access to water in lakes and reservoirs, Gaddings has become a much-valued and popular local swimming spot.
The Gaddings Dam Preservation Company bought the deeds to the reservoir in 2001 for £1,500 on the condition that it was preserved for the people of Todmorden