The children of Birchinlee Village - the "Tin City" built for workmen constructing the Derwent Valley Dams - 1901-1914

Remembering the 'tin town' residents who helped crate the Peak District dams

Birchinlee is the site of "Tin Town", a village built by the Derwent Valley Water Board for the workers and their families who constructed the Derwent and Howden Dams.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 4:30 pm

Derwent Dam was created by a community of workers who lived, schooled and socialised in the ‘tin town’ in Birchinlee.

We have dug out some forgotten pictures of life in the Derwent before the water came and the people who built the dams between 1901 and 1916.

Did you know Birchinlee, was a "model village" and its infrastructure included hospitals, school, canteen (pub), post office, shops, recreation hall, public bath house, police station, railway station, rubbish dump with incinerator, and much else.

One of the shops was a well-stocked store owned by the Gregory brothers from Tideswell. Accommodation consisted of workmen's huts, foremen's huts and married workmen's huts. The latter were decorated to a high standard, as photographs from the period confirm. The population rose to 900 people.

Remnants of "Tin Town" can still be seen when walking to the west of Derwent Reservoir. The former railway track is now a footpath. One of the buildings was salvaged and rebuilt at Hope.

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