Proffered by the committee of BWTAS after a request from the BBC, I was interviewed by Chris Wilson, Producer of BBC Radio 4's programme Saturday Live outside Jumbo in Colchester. This item is scheduled to air on 26th January 2013.
The show's format is "extraordinary stories and remarkable people" and is presented by Sian Williams and The Reverend Richard Coles.
I don't profess to be the latter but there are many extraordinary stories about water towers and Jumbo's story arc is perhaps typical of them all. An engineering marvel, an object of immense civic pride and a symbol of mankind's triumph over nature; it and the people behind it are forgotten and a safe reliable water supply is taken for granted by the public yet within a lifetime ago things were very different.
|Babylon in D W Griffith's 1916 'Intolerance'|
I hope that will make the area a bit more attractive, as it once was, although the future of Jumbo is still very uncertain. It has turned out to be a white elephant for the developer who bought it. Though there are people with well prepared plans that could put it to good use for the benefit of Colchester, and have been trying to do so for years, that non-profit body can't raise what the developer paid for it in the heat of the bidding.
© Balkerne Tower Trust
In the intro and outro, the reverend mentioned the water tower in his parish at Finedon near Peterborough as a companion to his church. I must agree it is rather a fine 'un.