The architects believe the new scheme meets the concerns raised by the council and the members of the public with regard to the previous design.
Thursday, 22 December 2011
The architects believe the new scheme meets the concerns raised by the council and the members of the public with regard to the previous design.
William Fontaine Golding Bruff (elected associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers on 6 December 1864) was the son of Peter Schuyler Bruff, of Handford Lodge, Ipswich. The elder Bruff (1812–1900) was elected as a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on 8 April 1856.
A photo of William's dad Peter is here https://east.veoliawater.co.uk/about-us-our-history.aspx
Peter Bruff was the foremost railway engineer in Essex and constructed the 325 metres long Chappel Viaduct in 1847-9. Bruff formed his own company to extend the railway line from Colchester to Ipswich and he was responsible for the Tendring Hundred Railway and was involved it its waterworks company. While working on the line he began to develop Walton-on-the-Naze as a seaside resort and built its pier, baths and Marine Terrace. He also bought 50 acres of land to found and develop the resort town of Clacton on Sea, Essex, building the pier, the Royal Hotel, the public hall in Pier Avenue and the town centre. Frinton was yet another Essex development interest.
William Bruff was the engineer for the Mid-Suffolk and Southwold Railways in 1865 and it is
likely that the family’s strong presence in Essex and Suffolk as well as their experience of water engineering stood him in good stead when the Aldeburgh Waterworks Company considered the appointment of an engineer. He remained essentially a railway man while he designed and built a water works and the water tower at Park Road, Aldeburgh IP15 5ET.
James Blaine Walker in his Fifty Years of Rapid Transit (1918; extract at Appendix B) described Bruff as the most picturesque figure in the history of Brooklyn’s rapid transport system. He "parted his hair as well as his name in the middle. He was one of the early types of the breezy, energetic promoter, and while he spent money lavishly he seems to have had a talent for gathering it in, and is credited with infusing life into the languishing project (Brooklyn Elevated Railway) and bringing about the road's construction. When he finally got the work started he would drive to it each morning in a stylish carriage, with a liveried coachman. He brought bankers into line and for a time funds rolled in upon him at the rate of $90,000 a week. He was elected president of the company in January, 1879."
The railway went through several bankruptcies and reorganisations and W. Fontaine Bruff became legendary for his headlong style in challenging the city aldermen and his rivals which had got him and his workmen arrested when they broke ground for the railway.
It appears that he returned to the UK as sick man and in 1911 was living in south Twickenham under medical supervision.
The Ipswich Journal also records one of their correspondents meeting him in London in 1874. Bruff is chomping on a half cigar and totally absorbed in surveying Temple Bar gate. At that time, the authorities wanted to pull it down as it was impeding the traffic. There were efforts to save the historic gateway and, some years later, it was bought by brewing magnate, dismantled stone by stone, and taken to his country pile in Hertfordshire. After purchase by a trust in the 1980‘s, Temple Bar was dismantled again and re-erected in 2004 at the entrance of the Paternoster Square near St Paul’s in London.
Friday, 2 December 2011
BWTAS recently received enquiries about images of Shanghai's metal water tower that we have covered in this journal and so were informed that a second steel water tower was built in Shanghai around 1905 by John Taylor and Sons. A drawing of it can be found in Chelsea to Cairo: Taylor-made water through eleven reigns and in six continents - Thomas Telford, London, a history of the engineering firm by Gwilym Roberts.
Dr Albert Koenig of Hong Kong University and co-author Du Pengfei of Tsinghua University would like to enlist the help of BWTAS members and water tower enthusiasts around the world as they are preparing a chapter on the water history of pre-modern China for a book: The Evolution of Water Supply Throughout the Millennia to be published by International Water Association Publishing. This tome is undoubtedly going to be on a lot of this journal's readers' wish lists.
The authors know another tower, an Eiffel-type hexagonal plan metal construction, was built for the Capital Water Ltd. in Beijing. Unfortunately, they cannot discover anything about its designer or builder.
|Source: Gong shui zhi in: Beijing zhi. Shi zheng juan. Gong shui zhi. Gong re zhi. Ran qi zhi, (2003) Beijing Shi di fang zhi bian zuan wei yuan hui, ed. Beijing chu ban she, Beijing, p. 168ff.|
Beijing water tower under construction, Photo taken by Ernst Boerschmann c.1907.
Source: Robert K.G. Temple (1990) Im Land des fliegenden Drachen: Chinesische Erfindungen aus vier Jahrtausenden. Vorwort von Joseph Needham. Gustav Luebbe Verlag, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany.
It was photographed under construction by the noted sinologist Ernst Boerschmann in 1907, who is well worth looking into as a subject. Between 1902 and 1949 he produced thousands of stunning photographs of China's old and modern architecture and its people.
If you know of any tower of a similar construction, please contact the authors at the email address below* and, if possible, provide the name of the designer.
kalbert (at) hkucc.hku.hk
(*if you're not a spam bot, you'll know what to do)
Saturday, 12 November 2011
The final chapter of the saga of the water tower at the former Campbell's soup factory will be written in the local newspaper. The Lynn News is offering readers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to push the detonator to demolish it later this month to make way for a Tesco supermarket. No word yet whether this is a BOGOF offer or will get any extra clubcard points.
If you know of someone you think should have this honour, send your nomination by Friday 18th November 2011 to email@example.com, or by letter to Mike Last, Senior Writer, Lynn News, Limes House, Purfleet Street, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 1HL.
Sunday, 16 October 2011
The print run has been limited to 75 copies (and 20 are pre-sold) so get your order in ASAP and sit back and enjoy the holiday season knowing that shopping for that water tower fan in your life is sorted.
Friday, 30 September 2011
|photo by SteveRSVR|
BBC news slideshow http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-14983682
Here's map of the laser 'field' to aid viewing:
View flow towers in a larger map
Illuminating water towers has a long history and was commonplace when water towers were novel and objects of civic pride. The Thorpe Hamlet water tower in Norwich was illuminated for a year to commemorate George V's silver jubilee in 1935. A couple of generations later, illumination of towers was used as way of reasserting their monumental quality and renewing civic pride as part of regeneration schemes. Cranhill Arts Project in Glasgow illuminated their local tower a vibrant green with white spotlights and nearby the Craigend water towers were illuminated as part of Glasgow's reign as the European City of Culture. The city council's lighting strategy webpage asserts: "Good lighting helps to increase vitality and improve ambience. It contributes to a sense of identity and place, makes for a safer, friendlier environment and also supports and complements other regeneration initiatives."
Friday, 23 September 2011
While on vacation in British Columbia this month I was given a driving tour of the sights of the city of Victoria. When we stopped at Government House intending to eat our sandwiches in its splendid gardens, the cooler we had brought along was empty. The sandwiches had been made but left behind on the kitchen counter; the cook thinking the driver would pack them, the driver thinking the cook had packed them. While we made do with the dessert, my companions asked if there was anything in particular I wanted to stop and look at. A few minutes earlier I had glimpsed a water tower atop a distant hill so I said, if they didn't mind, that I'd like to take a look. "But", I warned them, "towers are shy creatures. If you go looking for them, they tend to run away..."
After stopping at the marvellous outdoor retailer Mountain Equipment Cooperative, we surmised from our map it must lie in the region of the Craigdarroch Castle so we headed there. Navigating the one-way system we came to the coal mine owner's mansion - scene of a legendary and lengthy family dispute - which is now a museum and walked around outside but were unable to see the tower from this vantage point. "It saw us coming" I told my companions. The 'castle', though imposing, is more a sandstone pastiche of Scottish laird and Disney fairytale but it was impressive that every window, including sash ones, and each door was carved to follow the curve of the turrets, a 'hang the cost' detail but with admission costing $13 pp, I have no doubt their upkeep is expensive.
The mansion is in the area called Rockland which was once Victoria's 'Nob Hill' and now an open-top English bus plys guided tours pointing out the mock-Tudor piles of other migrants who made their fortunes in lumber, furs, coal and construction in this last frontier and bastion of the British Empire. Though we couldn't see it, I suspected the elusive tower must be nearby as we were on a plateau and the tower must have been constructed to serve all these grand homes. We set off down the hill to backtrack to where I had first seen the tower, hoping that then we could then turn around and stalk towards it like a game of Grandmother's Footsteps.
Perhaps it felt like only playing peek-a-boo with us because as we drove away, we suddenly saw it looming over some houses. It was then a case of my jumping out with a camera to capture a view and try to find a way to walk to its base while my companions waited in the car, as they did not want to enrich the city with a parking fine nor be an accessory to any inadvertent trespass. Besides, a large party would likely scare it off again. It was a process of elimination in going up successive driveways, each tantalisingly appearing to lead to the base, to find the one which its attendants must have used to reach the door.
The tower sits rather dilapidated and unused in the garden of a old mansion which is now apparently a multiple rental/condo. Given that access to the tower must have some easement over the driveway, I ran up to the base to log the tower on my GPS device. We then quickly took our leave to visit one of Victoria's many coffee shops, the boho-style Tooks on Cook we had passed earlier. Here very satisfactory sandwiches and slice of quiche with a salad was not as elusive.
View MEC to tower expedition in a larger map
Tower Location: Laural Lane, Victoria B.C. Canada.
Built: 1908. Decommissioned: 2000
Height: 33.22 m.
Capacity: 412,330 litres.
The tower is an unreinforced 25.4 cm. thick concrete cylinder of 6.71 m. inside diameter, 21.34 m. high, supporting a 11.89 m. high water tank of equal diameter. This is a balancing reservoir. The tower can be clearly seen from the ocean and has been used as an navigation aid by small craft.
The 128-foot water tower was built by the famous contractor Henry Kaiser. In 1962, to commemorate the centenary of Victoria, the tower was topped by a 22-foot tall neon flame, which burned for over 25 years.
From Victoria Heritage Foundation
With Victoria’s population growing rapidly, the city water supply was quickly becoming inadequate, and 1909 saw construction of a 100,000-gallon concrete water tower. This must have seemed unsightly, among the villas and Garry oak meadows at one of the highest points of Rockland, but, along with the Smith Hill Reservoir, it constituted a stop-gap project to supply Victorians with water until the new system at Sooke Lake was built. The area around the water tower was known locally as Observatory Hill.
It featured a large, Queen Anne house called Observatory Villa with a 3-storey tower and a small observatory, which was built by amateur astronomer Oregon Columbus Hastings in 1890 (915 St. Charles Street, demolished). By 1903, the lane leading to the observatory had been officially named Observatory Hill.
Thursday, 22 September 2011
This programme will be transmitted on Thursday January 12, 20102 at 9pm on Channel 4.
Television programme "The Restoration Man” on Channel 4 are desperately looking for film footage shot between the 1900s-1930s showing any 19th century Water towers across Britain. Their programme is focussing on the Forge Lane Water Tower in Congleton, Cheshire but notwithstanding finding any film of that, they would like footage that shows the interior of any 19th century water tower with it’s water pump in action etc.
- Court Lodge Water Tower. Wrotham, Kent.
- The Round House, Perth, Tayside, 1832
- Everton Water Tower, Liverpool, Merseyside, 1854
- Internally Flanged cast iron tank, Wivenhoe water tower, Essex, 1901
- Flaybrick water tower, Birkenhead, Merseyside, 1865
- Friday Bridge water tower, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, 1894
- Westgate water tower, Lincoln, 1910
- Lymm water tower, Cheshire.
- Horncastle Road Water Tower, Boston, Lincolnshire, 1905
- Hartlepool water towers, Cleveland
- Balkerne Tower, Colchester, Essex, 1882
- Winshill water tower, Burton on Trent, Staffs, 1907
- Rockwell Green water tower, Wellington, Somerset, 1885
Jane Elizabeth Higgs
The Restoration Man
0207 544 1649
Saturday, 10 September 2011
During World War II, our water towers were not attacked by enemy action, as we now know, the Luftwaffe used these landmarks as aid to navigation - the Dutch were not so lucky. The elegant, reinforced concrete tower on the left, by architect J. van Poelgeest and dating from 1912, was blown up on 17th September 1943, by the occupying forces.
A new 48 metre high water tower that has a brick façade covering its reinforced concrete structure, was erected between 1949 and 1951 from a design by J. Zietsma. It was originally conceived as a round tower but ended up being an octagonal. The tower with two tanks with a total volume of 209,000 gallons came into service in 1952.
Any body who has more information on these towers, please leave a comment.
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Wednesday 12th October, 11.00am. Meet at the Estate Offices, London Rd, Elveden, Thetford IP24 3TQ.
Booking priority is given to BWTAS members, then to the public. Space is very limited. We'll announce any changes and further information here and on twitter @bwtas. Non-members can join the society on the day.
Please note all the usual disclaimers apply: this is a industrial building not normally open to the public, it is not suitable for young children, there is no disabled access and the visit is at the visitor's own risk and subject to the directions of the Elveden estate.
For companions not interested in water towers, there is a shop and restaurant on the estate www.elveden.com
Monday, 8 August 2011
Further to my comments on Croydon Water Tower, I have found additional information regarding this tower, from a copy of “Engineering” 5th June, 1868. The etching above (click picture for a larger image) comes from Google eBooks and is accompanied by the following text on page 545, that I have transcribed here, as it is a little difficult to read:
This water tower is located at TQ 33052 65002.
Saturday, 23 July 2011
The exhibition is on now and runs until 29th July, and is on at 36 St. Mary's Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SX. Details can be found here. A sample of Tim's towers are presented below...
Saturday, 2 July 2011
|image lifted from http://www.uniquepropertyblog.co.uk|
Now Mike is asking if BWTAS members know anything of its history. All he knows is that it was built in 1860 to provide water to the Poor Law workhouse that then became Ormskirk Hospital in the 1950's.
Mike's taken up the standing offer of complimentary membership of BWTAS to tower owners and he would be happy for members to come and look around before they start conversion although he and BWTAS can't accept any liability for injury etc. In today's litigation culture we are compelled to say that.
Mike's also looking for guidance from any qualified members whilst he plans what to do with this fantastic building.
Please contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile 07751 605384. The tower is off
Prior to the sale, Burcough-based property specialists Armistead Barnett were saying they expected the demand for this property to be high.
Sales manager David Cowburn told the Ormskirk Advertiser: “This is an iconic, landmark building which offers a fantastic opportunity for those looking to create their dream home. The Water Tower is of particular architectural interest due to its five storeys, side projectile pipes, arched windows and the large water tank on top. Planning permission has been granted for two flats but there is potential to create one huge five-storey residence. It will make for a stunning home.”
The 175 square meter tower was part of the hospital site purchased and developed by Persimmon Homes as Nightingale Walk.
Nearby residents aslo said they were in favour of the developement. Neil Wynne, of Pinfold Road, said: "I would prefer it if someone moved into the water tower."
Ormskirk is also known for another water tower, the concrete 'UFO' at Scarth Hill to the east of Ormskirk.
Sadly there is also a very large derelict one at Greetby Hill, now obviously a missed development opportunity but in its dotage has become reminicsent of a Victorian folly. An application to convert it into seven apartments in 2001 was later withdrawn. Greetby Now and Then.
Thursday, 30 June 2011
When Southern Water unloaded a portfolio of properties in 2004, architect Stephen Luxford purchased the Braithwaite water tower at the former Greenham Common airbase and then got planning permission to convert it into a house. That was a bit of a shock to the local council as they expected buyers would cut it up for scrap and put a traditional house on the plot.
We haven't heard anything for a while but Stephen has just been in touch to tell BWTAS:
Stephen told BWTAS before that a build cost estimate is tricky because of unusual nature of the build but at £1200 to £1500/m.sq (quite a high rate) it would be in the region of £160k to £200k.
First Water Tower Robot Clean for Panton McLeod
The project at Minety Tower near Wootton Basset represented the first time that Panton McLeod has ever used the innovative machine to clean an elevated water storage structure in the UK.
“However, before the project at Minety Tower, we had never used the robot to clean a water tower. It represented a big challenge for our underwater team, but we were able to use our expertise to ensure that the project was a success.
Panton McLeod also uses a specialist ROV inspection robot which is manoeuvred like a submarine through the water in a service reservoir and is able to inspect the walls of the tank, joints, and the roof soffit for damage or leakage.
Both machines are remotely operated from the surface and fitted with cameras and lighting equipment, allowing staff controlling the sub to assess the interior of the tanks. They are also used solely within clean potable water environments and meticulously cleaned and disinfected prior to every use to ensure they can be safely used in the public water supply, and Panton McLeod conducts rigorous tests before and after each inspection.
More information about the machines and Panton McLeod’s other services for the UK water sector can be found at their website
You can see the VR600 in action on YouTube
Water tower tanks are traditionally cleaned and serviced by taking them offline, draining them and then sending workers into the tank via the access hatches to sweep and flush the built-up sediment down the overflow/waste line by hand. Sometimes a small rowboat was lowered inside for inspections. We suppose the health and safety regulations now make the cost of cranes to lift robot vacuums (basically high-tech pool cleaners) into the tank a cheaper option.
Monday, 27 June 2011
Water tower development is driven as much by social reforms as the progress in civil engineering and it is also driven by improvements in the technology of building materials, pumping machinery, steam engines and pipe making.
From their aqueducts the Romans used bucket-chain pumps powered by animals and slaves to fill raised cisterns with clay or wooden pipes for local water distribution. The foundations of Roman water towers have been discovered at Ixworth and in the City of London. At Vindolanda in Northumberland, wooden pipes over 2000 years old were found still working.
Many Medieval castles and monasteries had stone towers lined with clay or lead as a strategic supply. Lendal Tower in York was once a water tower. Though many castles - like Chester - have a tower called 'The Water Tower', this is misleading. It is because they are gates accessible by water.
Wind and water driven pumps began to appear in the late 16th century. A ‘forcer’ pumping water “to the highest parts of the city” was recorded in Norwich in 1583.
One of the great early water engineers was George Sorocold (1668 - 1717) of Derby who also built water systems for Norwich, Bristol, Leeds and London but we know very little about his life.
Many landscape artists painted the York Street water tower of 18th Century London which was pumped by a paddle wheel in the Thames.
The Industrial Revolution (1760- 1830) brought a huge demand for water and advances in iron and steel manufacturing. Water towers became landmarks alongside engine houses, chimneys and factories in our towns and cities.
Water towers present many engineering challenges. The search for affordable materials and methods that can resist the relentless force of gravity acting on water has stimulated progress to this day.
Ferro-concrete was first invented for building water towers by the French engineer Francois Hennebique in 1892.
Water tower styles reflect the architectural movements of their time. Horstead in Norfolk was a bold experiment in 60’s modernism because its designer thought the planners and local people wouldn't want to see "another baked-bean tin on legs". The earliest of many concrete towers in Suffolk built between 1930 to 1950 by the Vibrated Concrete Company have ornamentation reflecting the new streamlining seen on ships and locomotives. Later towers, keeping to the same basic layout, have ornamentation of a more angular pattern. Plotting the dates of construction reveals that hints of Art Deco morph into touches of Bauhaus and the angular singularity of Le Corbusier.
According to English Heritage; at one time the "the water industry in England was of the greatest international importance ... many of the solutions adopted in Europe and North America were first devised in English towns."
After a fire destroyed Hamburg in 1842 because the water supply had failed, the Kaiser of the day had British engineer William Lindley (1808-1900) built several towers for the new water system. Lindley went on to work for many other European cities. A street in Budapest commemorates him. The attractive water tower in Epping High Road is his work.
The cholera epidemics of the mid 19th century and the ‘Great Stink’ of London in 1858 convinced Parliament that Britain’s water supply needed a complete overhaul. Victorian engineers like Joseph Bazalgette (1819 - 1891) built large metropolitan water systems and many water towers. Meanwhile, a rapidly expanding railway network with its need for a water tower every ten miles for steam locomotives; spurred the development of large-scale metal pre-fabrication which then lead to advances in bridge and building construction.
This period up until 1930 is considered the golden age of water towers. Worldwide demand encouraged research and development as British civil engineers got plenty of orders for successful designs from Shanghai to Sudan.
Despite progress in the cities, waterborne diseases were still common in rural areas where local governments could not raise the capital investment required to prevent the pollution of boreholes or rivers supplying the community from the effluent of domestic cesspits.
Some remarkable water towers were built by landowners, schools and asylums but in 1910, two thirds of rural parishes in England still had no piped water.
In 1944 the rural water boards obtained by an act of parliament the public investment they needed for a long period of post-war tower building but in some towns, people campaigned to stay 'dry' rather than have any increase in their rates.
During the Second World War, East Anglia’s strategic position caused a great number of prefabricated steel towers to be built for military installations, most commonly the Braithwaite system of bolted panels still made today, but there are others. Afterwards some were adopted for the public supply and remain in use but it took until the mid-sixties to connect every town and village in East Anglia to mains water.
The future of water towers in East Anglia likely lies in their imaginative reuse.
Opinion can vary widely if they are assets or blights to the skyline. Their visibility does give them commercial value while some styles can present challenges to convert for occupation but few people can resist an offer to see the view from the top of one and they are eagerly sought out by people looking for a restoration challenge or unique homes.
Disused towers have become homes, offices, performance venues, sports facilities and tourist attractions but their potential has yet to be fully exploited.
© Nat Bocking
Monday, 30 May 2011
The reasons for this are varied; sometimes they were simply misclassified or missed by the cartographer when the photo survey took place. Or their omission was for reasons of security of the public water supply or that their presence indicated activity which someone would prefer the public knew as little about as possible. Besides their appreciation, unimpeded access to accurate data on water towers has been the raison d'être of BWTAS.
To find towers in the first place, there is now a dizzying array of resources such as Geograph, Flickr and Panoramio that enable people to post for example their travel photos and pin them to a map with exact coordinates. These sites have thousands, perhaps millions, of water towers images as they never seem to fail to attract attention of photographers however, there is the drawback that such user-generated content does vary in quality.
The iconic water tower in Thorpeness, Suffolk known as 'The House in the Clouds' is variously marked up to a quarter mile from its actual location and by many names such as 'The House in the Sky' and, though a minor detail, it is often described as a converted tower when it was purpose-built to be a home that happened to have a huge tank on top. Such mis-information then gets parroted by other web-hunters and also makes its way into printed tourist guides and becomes a 'meme' that is impossible to correct.
In the meantime, the BWTAS committee would like to encourage our members and the world at large to show gratitude for the availability of these free resources and so when we take a little, to give a bit more back by contributing to what's out there. As there are so many resources, a bit of discrimination should be considered as to what is worthwhile to support. In the UK the site Geograph has a 'critical mass' of water towers and so new towers should be added there as it is quickly becoming a definitive list.
If you know of a water tower-related museum, heritage site or a water tower open to the public, it would be helpful to get it listed under 'attractions' in the databases Sat Nav manufacturers pre-install such as the Tele Atlas GPS POI database. POI databases are becoming more and more important all the time and have become the de-facto Yellow Pages ® while people are on the move.
The process is easy, just point your browser to the multi-language Tele Atlas Map Feedback web site and follow the 3 easy steps to somewhere listed or have an incorrect listing changed. This site allows you to enter a location by coordinates or post code but the coding of the point of interest for a water tower is limited to 'other'. One drawback on this site is that it doesn't provide much evidence for locating the precise location. You can drop a pin anywhere on the map but it's best to already have the location coordinates written down before you use the site to enter them.
While you’re adding a heritage site to Tele Atlas you can also add it to the NAVTEQ POI Database too. This site has a lot more detail and the maps can switch between satellite images and graphics so you can be sure you are pinning the right place. At the time of writing only one water tower at King Faisal St, Al Foutah, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia was listed there.
And, if your community is plagued by HGVs getting stuck in narrow lanes because of reliance on the driver's sat nav, (which is common issue vexing parish councils in Suffolk) then you can record the actual road restrictions on the NAVTEQ site as well, which should re-direct inappropriate traffic away in the future.
Although you are basically working for free for entity who are profiting from your effort, if you have a vested interest in water towers in some way, then it's well worth the trouble to let other people know exactly where these points of interest are.
For more esoteric data, perhaps purely to record the existence of a structure which the OS Map has omitted, an extremely useful resource is OpenStreetMap, a free editable map of the whole world. It allows you to view, edit and use geographical data in a collaborative way from anywhere on Earth. This site is hosted in London at the UCL VR Centre for the Built Environment.
Here is an incredibly nifty video showing how quickly mapping of the Earth has been done by crowd-sourcing since the project began in 2004.
OSM 2008: A Year of Edits from ItoWorld on Vimeo.
At the time of writing this there were only fifty or so towers marked on the Open Street Map, mostly in the USA. Whilst the learning curve to be a map contributor here is steep, it is a short hill. Most importantly, this resource has enormous credibility and is being used in developing countries and by governments to assist all manner of planning and development which mapping for would otherwise be impossible and unaffordable. Just as the reigns of power were snatched from his hands, erstwhile prime-minister Gordon Brown released the British Ordnance Survey base map to OSM to enable the mapping of the United Kingdom.
Water tower fans should be contributing OSM because people are able to use the data in print publications and websites for free whereas it typically costs £50 to license OS data in a small leaflet or website. So for a body wanting to publish a pamphlet of a local heritage trail, that cost, in practise, rather impeded such initiatives.
Friday, 27 May 2011
In 1915, when its population was about 1600, the city of Cotton Plant Arkansas USA was the birthplace of one of the greatest ever Americans, Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
A fine documentary recently shown on the BBC about Sister Rosetta opens with views of the water tower, bearing the proud name "CITY OF COTTON PLANT". It's a fairly ordinary water tower and it never supplied water to the home of this great American artist.
It turns out that the present steel water tower was built with funds from the PWA (Public Works Administration, an agency of Roosevelt's New Deal) in 1935. It replaced an earlier water tower which would have been serving the city at the time Sister Rosetta was born.
In 2008 the state governor of Pennsylvania declared that henceforth January 11th will be Sister Rosetta Tharpe Day in recognition of her remarkable musical legacy.