The building, beside the Talla Reservoir, was built as part of the Talla Reservoir Project as the Headquarters of the Edinburgh Water Board.  There is a marble plaque at the front door commemorating the completion of the railway to the Reservoir site.  It is a fine example of a Scottish Renaissance Lodge.   It has in recent years become a private residence.  The dignity of the original board-room with its splendid oak panelling and ingleneuk fireplace has been retained.  

VictoriaLodge.jpg

The first resident of the building was probably John Yuill Watt the Inspector of Works who is recorded as residing there in the 31st March 1901 census.  He was living there with his wife Mary and two children John and Lizzie.   The building is described as Edinburgh & District Water Works Dwelling House and Office.   The family would have had a wonderful view of the reservoir construction site and it is a pity that they did not not take a selection of photographs of the construction of the reservoir - or maybe they did and there is a Watt family photograph album waiting to be unearthed!   However to be fair in the Souvenir Booklet about the opening of the Talla Reservoir there are a number of good photographs at least two of which must have been taken from the upper windows of Victoria Lodge.  One view that the family would not have photographed would have been that of the Workmans Camp.   In the 1901 census there are approx 200 souls including women and children crammed in to a selection of huts one of which housed 60 people!.   The number of people involved in the construction rose over the next couple of years to over 500.   It was probably the conditions in the camp that led to the spread of the 1902/3 epidemic of small-pox in Scotland.  The British Medical Journal of the day stated that cases of small-pox in Scotland were all traced to the Edinburgh Water Works Talla Centre.    

VictoriaLodgefromtheJubileeRoad.jpgVictoria Lodge, at corner of reservoir, viewed from the Jubilee Road.
(Much clear felling has been done since this photograph was taken)

 

Tony Hope