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History of the Drainage Boards

The first Commissioners for Sewers were appointed by Henry III in 1253 following which the Courts of Sewers were established to ensure flood protection and safeguard the drainage network.
In the 1600’s the Courts gave Adventurers permission to undertake extensive drainage improvements, often with the help of Dutch expertise. The main drainage network we see today is largely based on the extensive systems put in place by those early pioneers.
The Boards we know today evolved from these Courts of Sewers with the Deeping Fen Board being constituted in 1939.
In 1988 the Board created the Pinchbeck Engine Land Drainage Museum in the old 1833 steam engine pumping station at Pinchbeck Marsh. The museum houses a display of drainage tools and other similar artefacts along with display boards telling the history of land drainage from Roman times to the present day.
Many of the early minute books accounts and documents dating back to 1669 are deposited in the Lincolnshire Archives. The Board do however have some records which may be of interest to South Holland residents examples of which are given below.
These documents can be viewed by clicking on the paragraph header highlighted and then clicking on the document or photographs. Further clicking will enlarge the item. Note: This archive will grow in the coming months so if you don’t see what you are looking for keep coming back.

ALL Archive Records

Old machines – Draglines, Weed cutting boats, Dredgers, Emergency Pumps, Piling Equipment
Old working methods – Scything, Spade roding, Jack balling water over a dam
Pumping Stations – Pode Hole Adventurers – 1957 construction, Pode Hole Deeping St Nicholas 1964, Dismantling Kesteven and Holland steam engines at Pode Hole
Floods – 1947, 1968, 1998
Plans and Drawings
Engineering drawings of structures – Pode Hole Pumping Stations, Bridges, River Glen Sluice 1878
Drawings of drainage equipment – Piling Frames, Excavators, Scouring Dam 1882
Maps of the area – Plan of Commons 1857, Plan showing lands described in Act of 1832 for Pinchbeck, Jos Featherstones Map of Deeping Fen – 1763
Old Ordnance Survey plans – Editions between 1888 to 1931 at scales of 25” and 6” to the mile
Deeping Fen Drainage – Maxwell & Hare 1800, Jessop, Rennie, Maxwell & Hare – 1800, Thos Pear 1820
Vernatts Drain – John Rennie – 1818
River Welland – Benjamin Bevan – 1812, Thomas Pear – 1815, James Walker 1835 & 1838
Length of Drains Maintained in Deeping Fen 1943
Lowland Drainage of the Witham Fens – F. H. Tomes OBE 1970?
Major flood events – 1947 Flood – River Welland and South Holland Drainage Boards
Improvement and Pumping Station schemes – River Welland Major Improvement Scheme 1947 -1957
Pode Hole Pumping Stations – A History of Deeping Fen 1964 – W. D. Miles
Bourne South Fen Pumping Station – A History of Bourne South Fen & Thurlby Fen 1976 – W. D. Miles M. B. E.
Maxey Pumping Station 1977 – A History of Drainage of North Fen near Peakirk – W. D. Miles M. B. E.
Rainfall Records – The Board have records from 1829
Old Accounts, Rating and Estimates – Conditions of contract – Locks Mill Pumping station Dec 1938
Old Machines
Floating Scouring Dam 1882
Specification and price Pheonix motor company – Motor Launch for Deeping Fen Drainage Trust 13th April 1909
Specification Priestman Bros Ltd for Fixed Priestman Dredger for Deeping Fen Drainage Trust 17th May 1907
Instructions and Useful Information Class “M” Oil engines – Ruston & Hornsby – pub 4694
Steam Cylinder and Valve Lubrication – No.5 Gargoyle Technical Series 1931 (For Pinchbeck engine)
Acts of Parliament – click here to read

Draining low lands between Boston and Bourne 1765
Amending, Rendering more effective previous Acts for Drainage of Deeping Fen 1774
River Welland Improvement 1794
Draining and Enclosing Crowland Common 1801
Enclosing of lands in Maxey,Deeping Gate,Northborough, Glinton etc 1809
Maintaining roads between Spalding High Bridge and Deeping St James 1821
Drainage of between Boston Haven & Bourne 1846
Crowland & Cowbit Washes Drainage 1847

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