New information boards at Sheffield reservoirs tell of wartime links

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Visitors to two South Yorkshire reservoirs can now learn about their role in the Second World War thanks to new information boards.

The displays at Langsett and Midhope reservoirs tell the story of how the sites were used for war preparations but also the concern held by Prime Minister Winston Churchill that the reservoirs themselves may have been a target for raids.

The new information boards will be celebrated on Saturday, May 31 at an open day at Langsett Barn between 11am and 3pm.

The official unveiling will take place at 12.15pm.

Short guided walks will then be led around some points of interest.

Langsett reservoir was used as a tank firing range and military camps sprang up in the area to accommodate the thousands of troops who trained there.

The 617 Squadron of the Royal Air Force, known as the Dambusters, used the area to train for their infamous raids on the Ruhr Valley.

Following the raids the reservoirs surround Sheffield were deemed to be among the most vulnerable sites in the country and measures were put in place to protect them, including ‘catenary defences’ – 300ft high masts strung with a curtain of steel cables to prevent aircraft from making a successful bombing run on the reservoirs.

Alastair Harvey, Yorkshire Water’s Recreation Advisor, said: “These two reservoirs are places of real historical significance.”