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Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Suffolk Water Tower under construction in 1953

© Copyright Michael Smith and Linda Woodward, reproduced by kind permission of SARA Strabroke Village Archive

The above image was taken by the prolific photographer Geoffrey Smith in 1953. Much of his work has been made available by the Stradbroke Archive & Record Association on their web site. Unfortunately we don't know which water tower it is being built — it was labelled “Fressingfield Water Tower 1953”.

The smaller 100,000 gallon water tower at Fressingfield, was built in 1955 and is a slender tower with central a service shaft and 12 legs… There are three water towers in Suffolk, of the design shown under construction, all built about 1953: Dennington TM 27161 66726, Framlingham TM 29938 63491 and Blythburgh TM 45367 74244. If you can identify this tower, please leave a comment below.

Tower at Fressingfield

Thursday, 10 November 2016

A Water Tower Windfall!!

BWTAS was recently contacted by Peter Loosley, who had been photographing water towers since 1976. He was unaware of our existence until his wife, Pat, read about us in Bill Bryson's book "The Road to Little Dribbling". He was keen that his collection of over 1,000 water towers worldwide went to a good home and offered them to us. A small delegation from BWTAS was assembled and went to meet Peter and his wife…

From left to right: Barry Barton (President), Andy Norris (Hon. Treasurer), Pat & Peter Loosley,
Wil Harvey (Chairman) & Ferrers Young (Archives)

On arrival we were greeted most warmly and enjoyed good hospitality… After coffee, biscuits and home made cake, Peter gave us a PowerPoint presentation that he'd previously created: "Living History — A Millenium of Water Towers Worldwide" that covered the development of materials and structures for the collection, storage and distribution of water through the ages.

This naturally created some discussion! Of particular interest was a tower, the like none of us had previously seen — one with a toroidal tank! This is located in Ciechanów, Poland, designed by Jerzy Michal Boguslawski and built in 1972, but now out of use. The tank is supported on a hyperbolic steel lattice base. Unfortunately I haven't been able to establish its capacity, but measuring it on Google Earth™ it would appear to be somewhere in the region of 400,000 gallons.

We were able to continue our chat about water towers over a most enjoyable pub lunch — we had a lot to catch up on… Hopefully we'll see Peter and his wife again. We left then left with Peter's collection of water tower photographs.

Photograph of Ciechanów water tower reproduced from Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Licence

Monday, 22 August 2016

Bucknell, Oxfordshire (1909)

Information Request…

© Copyright Anthony Parkes and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The above water tower is a Grade II listed building. Built in 1909 by Major Philip Hunloke to serve the Bucknell Manor estate and the village of Bucknell. It was used until the 1950s when mains water was installed. The tower, often referred to as Trow Pool water tower, is very prominent on the M40 between junctions 9 and 10 at SP 54860 24800.

BWTAS member James Clark is writing a book on motorway landmarks and would be very appreciative of any additional information regarding this tower. If you can help James, please email BWTAS:


© Copyright Alan Murray-Rust and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Monday, 15 August 2016

Uxbridge Common, Greater London (1907)

© Photograph Copyright Edmund Silvester

BWTAS member, Jennifer Silvester, kindly sent in this photograph of the now converted water tower located at TQ 06019 85191. The Uxbridge tower was completed in 1907 for the Uxbridge Water Works company, holding 80,000 gallons of water. Looking at old maps, we see that by 1934 a large reservoir has been built beside the tower, by Uxbridge Urban District Council. I do not know when the tower went out of use, but it was sold in 1980, for conversion to a dwelling. The tower is not a listed building.

If you can add any information, please leave a comment.