Freezing the Balla in the Talla ..

Loch Talla

Talla Reservoir, located a mile from Tweedsmuir in the Scottish Borders, Scotland. It is an earth-work dam fed by Talla Water. The reservoir is supplemented by water from the nearby Fruid Reservoir. It was opened in 1899.   In the late 19th century engineers surveying for the Edinburgh and District Water Trust (EDWT) identified the area around the loch at Talla in the hills above Tweedsmuir in the Scottish Borders as an ideal site for a new reservoir to supply the increasing water demands of the expanding city of Edinburgh, 28 miles to the north. In the mid-1890s the land was secured from the Trustees of the Earl of Wemyss and March Estates for £20,000. Construction was by James Young & Sons.On 29 September 1897 a stone-laying ceremony marked the start of construction of Victoria Lodge, at the southern terminus. The Lodge was built as the headquarters for the Trustees of the Edinburgh Water Company. A category B listed house in the Scots Renaissance style, it sits in its own private grounds overlooking the reservoir.[3]All materials for construction were lifted from there to the construction site by a ropeway, called a ‘Blondin‘ after the famous tightrope walker Charles Blondin. These included stone and aggregates from quarries in North Queensferry and Craigleith, pipes, valve gear and pumping equipment from central Scotland, as well as the claygravel and sand used in the dam embankment. Puddle clay, for the watertight barrier within the dam came from the Carluke area; this material was initially developed by James Brindley for canal lining. In total, over 100,000 tons of material were transported for the building of the reservoir, and at least 30 of the workmen (who were mostly Irish) died during construction and are buried at Tweedsmuir churchyard. Construction work was virtually complete by late 1904 and Talla Water was diverted into the bed of the reservoir on 20 May 1905. The official opening ceremony on 28 September was carried out by Lady Cranston, wife of the Lord Provost. lets swim !! 🙂 

Beware big pink ballas !!

Myself Deeksy and Bongo decided one fine morning that the thing to do would be to swim the Talla , so armed with a little internet research to ensure we weren’t going to get sucked down a pipe to our depths we headed to the Tweedsmuir hills ..

changing room …

Its a beautiful place Tweedsmuir and the drive from Hawick to Loch Talla is amazing , the countryside is stacked full of lochs , waterfalls and long long vistas of rolling hills. We arrived at the loch to find a beautiful day with near perfect water conditions , for sure it was to be a swim to remember..   My last big swim had been months ago in St Marys with Mick and Bongo so I was excited to get in.

the fellas !

Fidlay was on support crew with swim dog Frank in assistance 🙂  Off we went into the crystal clear waters of Loch Talla and keeping as a group swam to the half way and stopped ot tke it all in .. floating in the middle of a huge flat calm loch in a sunny day !!  Existential thoughts fill your head and if it wasnt for the cold you could stay there all day 🙂

floating with the homies 😀

All to soon we were swimming the final 100 metres with Findlay and Frank waiting for us at the end with warm clothes and food.  Fuck yeah !!  Loch Talla I love you <3

Note: Learn your craft , understand water , reservoirs and your own limits … Everyone knows how to swim but now you must learn to wild swim 🙂  Stay safe

 

 

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