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Saturday, 23 July 2011


This is brilliant - Tim Taylor is building scale matchstick models of all the water towers illustrated in the Hilla and Bernd Becher's book "Wassertürme"! This fantastic book covers water towers in Europe and the U.K. and some from America too. The towers are being built at precisely the size they appear in the Becher's plates, within the book. Hence they are not actually in scale with each other, but are all of a similar size. Tim is transforming their photographical record of the water towers into his own reality, so to speak. Wassertürme is also available in English (ISBN 026202277X) it was dubbed the "Old Testament" at the last BWTAS meeting (Barry Barton's book being the "New Testament").

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

Ormskirk water tower owner seeks information, offers access...

image lifted from 
Last Thursday, Mike Jones and his friend became the proud owners of the Ormskirk Hospital water tower in West Lancashire.

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 or mobile 07751 605384. The tower is off Nightingale Walk, postcode L39 2AZ.

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.