Tyneside stop tap access covers
Tyneside stop tap access covers

I’m always looking down on the pavement and the road for interesting utility access or drain covers made for local authorities.

Here are three found within yards of each other on Hotspur Street in Tynemouth. They are, as clearly stated on one of them, stop tap access covers for houses supplied with water by the water department of Tynemouth Corporation[1]. They can be approximately dated by the initials. The T C W on the first two is likely to be Tynemouth Corporation Waterworks and T C W D is likely to refer to the Tynemouth Corporation Water Department.

I find local authority history rather confusing but I do know that Tynemouth was a council in its own right until as a county borough it was abolished with the others in 1974 and it had been a council or borough in various incarnations since 1849. It is much harder to locate on the internet when the waterworks and water department existed so the dating of these covers isn’t easy. A search of The British Newspaper Archive suggests that the water department was an entity until the abolition of the county borough in 1974. Therefore they are at least 45 years old though I suspect you could add 55 years to that figure.

Wikipedia has several pages on other corporations but nothing on Tynemouth.


[1] Public utilities were supplied by corporations so the C does not indicate council.