It’s almost two months since I visited the Blue Pool and cleared some hairy weed from the brickwork and managed to photograph a six inch pipe just as the sun was setting and the deeper water was still cloudy.
Today I needed the exercise so I took a walk round Torwood. Fortunately I had my camera with me as I stood looking at the crystal clear water (still no blue colour) and staring patiently back at me was the Brick Arch of legends further up this page.
The arch was pretty much where Neil Jardine remembered it was. I was hoping it would be on the same side as the man-hole but the mystery just gets curiouser and curiouser.
As I strained to see through the breeze-rippled surface, I spotted another six inch pipe just a couple of feet anticlockwise from the first six inch pipe and on the same level.
Both pipes are directly above the Brick Arch opening.
Neil and myself remember the brick Arch opening as being clear of the bottom, so, assuming this is the only Brick Arch (not yet proven), we can deduce from its half buried state that the pool bottom is about a metre higher than it was in the 1960’s (at least round the edges) and the trees and weed covered debris will be well covering the loose bricks reported previously as having fallen in, presumably from a collapsed superstructure (a wall round the pool).
My biggest surprise was the size of the Brick Arch — much bigger than I remember. It is difficult to guess sizes under water but I am sure the diameter of the semi-circular arch is at the very least one metre.
Another find was a heavy plank that had been driven down vertically into the bottom debris. It was tight against the brickwork and just covering the edge of the Arch. Its top was about half way between the Arch and the surface. I took a long stick and pushed it over for a better look. My best guess at this stage is that its cross section is about 10 x 2.5 inches. It is tapered towards the top for some reason. Maybe later I will haul it out for a better look.
We have two pipes and a Brick Arch all on the same side. Inlet and outlet on the same side ? — I am not too comfortable with that — and no opening (so far) on the man-hole side. Most of the brickwork is still weed covered. When I clean that off, I should have a good view of all openings above the bottom-debris.
It’s unlikely that I will be doing much during the cold short days of the winter months other than have a look now and then.
I spent a frustrating day at Callendar House Reference Library yesterday, trying to read the hand scrawled minutes of the Falkirk & Larbert Water Trust of 1892. This was very slow going and yielded nothing worthwhile but it would probably take months to read through them all.
I have put out email ‘feelers’ to Scottish Water, the Forestry Commission and Carron Company who owned Torwood for a while. I will pray for a result there rather than go back to reading the minutes.
It’s worth noting that only the top of a semi circular arch is visible at present. No sign of the vertical parallel sides and level bottom that I remember — wee bit of dredging required there.
If the arch keeps going round to form a circle then we have a round brick pipe and not what I remember — except that somewhere inside me there is a memory of a small round brick opening that I have not mentioned because I really think I am inventing it. It certainly was nowhere near the diameter of this (very large) Brick Arch.
Thanks again to Caroline Kerr from Aberdeen who took a couple of samples home for testing on 6 October 2009. The results are published on Torwood Blue Pool Water Analysis.
We did not get a Laboratory pH result but Caroline has just Litmus Tested the duplicate sample and the pH is 6.0