And the water flowed!
The inhabitants of Molières had to wait until the early 1960s to be connected to the drinking water network. Before, they used to go and fetch drinking water from springs.
For those who lived in the village centre, these springs could be found in the surrounding valleys. There are no springs in the centre of the village, which lies on a limestone plateau. Only a few reservoirs, dug into the rock or built by the villagers, made it possible to store rainwater for the needs of the families. We know of a single, 22-metre deep, (private) well in centre of the village.
From bucket ...
Fetching water from the springs was tedious work because the slopes, like the one along the church, were hard to climb up!
And the shoulders bent under the heavy burden of the wooden buckets carried thanks to a wooden yoke called “cambalou”. It was a daily chore that was usually reserved for the women and children.
Some still remember!
To reduce this tedious work, people tried to find solutions. In 1935, the first – private – water distribution system of Molières was installed. Nine owners from the village grouped together and installed a “belier” (hydraulic pump) that pumped the drinking water from the “Font Peyre” upwards into a storage tank.
After the Second World War, more and more people in the hamlets had electric water pumps installed to make their work easier. The extra income generated by the tobacco growing, which we mentioned earlier, enabled the farmers to afford this luxury.
... to tap!
Some of our seniors – the young people of the village in the 1960s – remember being involved in the construction of the current drinking water system.
The first water tower was actually a large underground tank on the heights along the D27 road. A small building near the former agricultural garage still bears witness to its presence.
Soon insufficient, it was replaced by the current water tower, built at the place called “Les Justices” *, one of the highest points in the village. It is a tower with a 100 m³ tank at the top.
The distribution of drinking water was ensured by the municipality. The water came from the “Font de Caumont” spring in the “Couzage” valley. This spring alternately supplied the water towers of Molières and Saint-Avit-Sénieur. It sometimes ran out of water and the quality was not always optimal. Since 2010, the distribution network has been managed by an intermunicipal company.
* This is where the gallows used to be, on which the condemned were hanged!
Nowadays, it is difficult to imagine life without running water!
The 20th century in Molières
Most of the pictures on this page are from our private collection. The photo of the well in the centre of the village, marked with a ¤, was made available to us by Mr René Delpech. The image of the “cambalou” comes from Wikimedia Commons.