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180206-05. © NRT, 2006
Forge Weir, near Halton, itself near Lancaster, UK, 18 February, 2006

The gorge immediately downstream of the weir has been industrialised for centuries.
From 1752, Halton Iron Company smelted iron (unsurprisingly), using local oak charcoal. The nearby Halton Forge produced iron goods such as spades and firegrates.
Within a century cotton mills had also been established on the site, and in 1872, James Helme was producing oilcloth here. Expansion of the mill complex continued until the 1930s, and it was still in industrial use in the 1950s, but little remains now.

Since 1975, water has been abstracted from the River Lune here and pumped to the River Wyre, to supply other parts of Lancashire. The pumping station at Abbeystead, at which a methane explosion killed 16 people in 1984, is part of the scheme.

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Day in the life... © NRT, 2006