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Sunday, 11 October 2009

BWTAS tour of Coleshill Water Tower

Owners Andrew Tate and Deborah Mills warmly welcomed 11 members of BWTAS on Saturday Octber 3rd 2009 to their home in the Coleshill Water Tower near Amersham, a tower made famous by the Channel 4 programme Grand Designs.

Our members reported "the conversion is beautifully done, the unused external tank remains in place and the modernist extension, although quite large, is hidden from most viewpoints by a grass bank and grass roof, effectively disguising it as one of the nearby covered reservoirs. From any distance, it looks like the original unmodified water tower."

The view from the back garden, the only place you can see tower and extension together.


The view from extension. The vertical scale had a mechanical indicator showing water level in tank.


The view from mid level showing covered reservoirs.


The iew from top bedroom window - in the distance is Canary Wharf and the BT tower.


Andrew and BWTAS chairman Wil Harvey talking in the hall at the tower's base. On the wall an original architect's drawing is reproduced.


The inscription on the front door detailing the history of the tower.

 BWTAS extends its very grateful thanks to Andrew and Deborah for showing us their home.

New proposals for Colchester's 'Jumbo' don't float with MP

The EADT reports that new proposals for conversion of Jumbo, Colchester's magnificent but neglected Victorian water tower, have already been criticised by the town's MP Bob Russell. It is reported that the new plans do not conform to what the town's planning committee had previously established as permissable. The tower was recently upgraded to starred Grade II Listed status. 

Owner George Braithwaite's planning application has finally now appeared on Colchester Borough Council's website. It calls for a change of use and alterations to provide four flats, a restaurant and offices and ancillary buildings and works.

The application number is 091343. It can be seen here. The consultation period expires on 6th November and a decision is expected on 10th December.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Huddersfield L&YR Tower regeneration

BWTAS member David Blackburn tells us that this rather unlovely Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway water tower has managed to survive the many changes to the railways over the years and now looks set to become a community and heritage regeneration project.

It stands close to end of the platform at the busy Huddersfield Station and still has its 'plumbing' intact and visible. This large tank was needed to refill tenders before engines faced the steep climb over (and through) the Pennine hills to Manchester.

It is now earmarked to become the base for the Association of Community Rail Partnerships. EU funding has been awarded and details are being finalised with the aim of starting work before the end of 2009 to convert it to an energy efficient office building.

An unusual feature is that the rear wall of the tower is at least twice the height at the back compared to the front, with an entrance from one of the main streets in the town.

It's good to know that another tower appears to have a long term future. This also help ACoRP be more financially secure by lowering their property outgoings and it will make their offices more accessible by public transport.

A local estate agent's website tells us that "Huddersfield was once a mill town. It has a large amount of Victorian architecture having the highest number of listed buildings than any other city or town in the country.

Huddersfield Railway Station is a lovely old building with colonnades. It has been described as a stately home with trains in it. Outside the station is a statue of Huddersfield born former Prime Minister, Harold Wilson."

picture by David Blackburn