The Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald of 9 October 1959 carried the following report.


Official Opening Ceremony Performed By Provost James Dorrian

The £70000 extension to Millglen Filter Station, Ardrossan was officially opened by Provost James Dorrian last Saturday (3 October 1959). The extension, comprising a new filter house, attendant's house and a high level water storage tank, will serve the needs of the Burgh for years to come and was made necessary because of the growth of the Council's housing developments on to a higher ground and also because the capacity of the filter station required considerable augmentation. A representative company of guests were present at the filter station when the Provost performed the opening ceremony. Before turning the key in the door of the new filter house, he extended a welcome to all and declared that Ardrossan was proud of its water undertaking. Referring to the fact that later that day the convener of the Water Committee, Police Judge William Currie would be speaking about the history of the undertaking, the Provost said that he would like to pay his own personal tribute to the foresight of past members of Ardrossan Town Council who, through their wisdom, had made it possible for the town to have its own undertaking. For some years, however, the Council had realized the limitations of the existing filter station and increasing demands made the extension necessary. The scheme, prepared- by the consulting engineers Messrs Baptie Shaw and Morton, would meet the needs of the expanding town in the foreseeable future and also provide accommodation for additional filtering plant when required.

After paying tribute to those who had been associated in the work of the extension, Provost Dorrian said that while water was one of the most important and necessary things on earth, people sometimes did not fully realize this. For that reason, he was particularly please to see with them that day the Rev Tom Williamson who would ask God's blessing on the undertaking, on the people who operate the station and on the people of the town who would derive its benefits. Turning the key in the door of the new filter house, the Provost said it was his great privilege and pleasure to declare the extension officially open. After a prayer of thanksgiving offered by Mr Williamson, the company entered the new building and, in the entrance hall, there was another pleasant ceremony. Provost Dorrian unveiling a bronze plaque bearing the Burgh coat of arms to commemorate the opening of the extension, The plaque bears the names of the Provost; Police Judge Currie; Mr W N M McDermont, Town Clerk; Mr Hugh R Seaton, Water Manager; Messrs Baptie Shaw and Morton, Glasgow consulting engineers; Messrs Strathclyde Structures Limited, Glasgow, civil engineering and building works contractors and Messrs Bell Brothers, Limited, Manchester, filtration plant contractors. The company were taken on an inspection of the new filter house and other parts of the extension and later were the guests of the Town Council at lunch in the Eglinton Hotel at which Police Judge Currie presided.

After an enjoyable meal, Police Judge Currie intimated apologies for absence on behalf of Provost Forde of Stevenston and ex-Provost Hogarth of Ardrossan. In his remarks, he pointed out that the development of Ardrossan's water undertaking dated from the completion of Whitlees reservoir with two sand filters in 1860 when the population of the town was 3192. Expanding population and industry necessitated the building of Parkhouse Reservoir in 1875 and in 1887, Millglen Reservoir was completed bringing the town's total water storage to 51 million gallons and output of filtered water to 583500 gallons per day. Under the Ardrossan Gas and Water Order Confirmation Act 1901, the Council, he added, were empowered to build a reservoir at Busbie Muir which was completed in 1903. Further extension and modernisation was needed in the undertaking in the years that followed. "The present population of the Burgh" said Police Judge Currie "is in the region of 9500 and the daily consumption of water is 860000 gallons which is equivalent to 50 gallons per head per day for domestic purposes and 40 gallons per head per day for trade purposes.". Mr Currie went on to state that by the completion of the new works, the small reservoirs at Parkhouse and Whitlees could be abandoned as sources of supply and this was a matter that he could be considered by the Council in the future. One of the most important features of the water undertaking, he added, was the link-up, established in July of last year , between the Irvine and District Water Board's reservoir at the Caaf and Busbie Reservoir. He was particularly pleased to see with them that day the chairman of the Board, Bailie Clements and the Board's engineer, Mr William G Guild. "I can assure them" he added "that the Town Council fully appreciate the supply from the Board and, in common with other authorities, we would have been 'in Queer Street' without it.".

An indication of the good relations with the Board was the fact that they had jointly issued a recent appeal to local people to conserve water supplies. He flet that other water authorities throughout the country should cooperate more fully in an effort to coordinate water supplies but he believed that some authorities who were 'sitting pretty' were not wanting to be troubled by other authorities who were needing their assistance. Police Judge Currie also remarked that he had attended two meetings of water authorities in Ayrshire and a sub-committee had been appointed to examine the question of coordination of supplies. He hoped that the talks and discussions taking place would be successful.n his remarks, Provost Dorrian began by congratulating the consulting engineers of the new plant at Millglen Filters and thanking the contractors. The workmanship, he said, was first class and reflected credit on all concerned. "We in the Council" he added "had some rather anxious days in the past when we found it necessary at times to cut off the water supply for some hours in the early morning. This anxiety is now behind us and the advent of this new station relieves to a great extent much of the concern experienced by both members and officials during those very trying days.". The Provost expressed the thanks and congratulations of the Council and the people of Ardrossan to Police Judge Currie and the Water Committee on the completion of a project which, he said, would be of untold service to all in the future and a definite asset to the welfare and happiness of the Burgh. "A venture of this magnitude" he declared "must cost money.". "But I feel certain" he added "that the benefits to be gained from its installation will far outweigh in the minds of the ratepayers the extra rate burden which they will have to meet in the future.". He assured the convener and the Water Committee that they had the unstinted support of all the community in their efforts to improve and augment the water services of the town. The Provost ended by declaring that ratepayers and local organisations should be given the opportunity of visiting the filter station to see for themselves what had been accomplished by the water undertaking and thus realise what they were paying for.

Before introducing Bailie Dawes who proposed the toast of 'The Guests', Police Judge Currie said he would personally welcome any approach by local organizations or ratepayers who wished to visit the filter station; he was sure they would be given every facility. Bailie Dawes expressed the hope that the firms associated in the project would continue to prosper and that the same prosperity might come to the water undertaking's main consumers - local industry - upon whose success depended the town's wellbeing. He also said that he was pleased to see with them friends form Stevenston and Saltcoats Town Councils and in proposing the toast, he coupled with it the name of Mr Ritchie Campbell, a partner of Baptie Shaw and Morton. Replying on behalf of the guests, Mr Campbell thanked the Town Council for their generous hospitality and recalled that his personal association with Ardrossan's water undertaking went back over thirty years. After referring to a proposal for regional coordination of water supplies in Ayrshire, at present being formulated and investigated, Mr Campbell said he felt confident that the new extension at Millglen Filters would provide Ardrossan with long and efficient service. He paid tribute to the cooperation his firm had received from Messrs Black and Shapley, architects; from Strathclyde Structures Limited; from Messrs Bell Brothers and Mr Seaton and Mr Currie of the Council's water department.

Mr Campbell, on behalf of the contractors, then presented Provost Dorrian with a gift, a bedroom clock, suitably inscribed, as a memento of the occasion. Thanking Mr Campbell, the Provost expressed surprise and pleasure at receiving such 'a kind gift' and said it was one he would treasure and which would remind him of his happy occasion. Speaking on behalf of Strathclyde Structures Limited and the sub-contractors, Mr G H Brown also thanked the Council for their hospitality and expressed confidence that the filter station would, in every way, give the service expected of it. Mr Seaton, on behalf of the Water Department, paid tribute to the work of the various Council departments in connection with the project and a vote of thanks was proposed by ex-Provost Beggs. Members of the top table party were Provost Dorrian, Police Judge Currie, Provost Mrs Lambie, Saltcoats, Bailie Dawes, Mr Ritchie Campbell, Mr G H Brown and Mr Seaton.

The new filter house accommodates five new filter shells of the most modern design and has room for a further three if and when they are required. Old open slow-sand beds at Millglen have been superseded and the whole supply is now treated in a pressure plant of the mechanical scour type. The new station contains independent high-pressure and low-pressure plants and has a well-planned control room. It has also an emergency generating system in case of temporary electricity failure and from an architectural and a practical point of view, the building is in many ways pleasing. There is a detached four apartment house for the filter attendant and the new elevated tank, situated at Chapelhill Mount, has a storage capacity of 85000 gallons. The project has more than doubled the possible output of the station and altogether was completed in eighteen months.