Courtesy of Ferrers Young of the British Water Towers Appreciation Society here are some pictures of railway water towers in or near Norfolk. From the top they are Norwich City, The Cow Tower (supplied the livestock pens at Norwich City station),Melton Constable, Holt Railway (a 2005 replica of the Norwich City tower), Bungay, Bungay demolition, Cromer, Mundesley and Weybourne. All different.
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Tuesday 30 January 2024
A new (to me) picture of Garsdale water tower. This is a postcard dated sometime before 1909 and one of a series, printed in Germany.
The water tower and the then Hawes Junction South signal box are in the background, The water tower was identical to ours and the tank panels are reassuringly contrasty.
The Hawes Junction tank, like ours, was in a prominent location as a landmark along the Midland's proud new extension to Scotland, so like ours, it was painted for showiness.
Friday 19 January 2024
There is no doubt that our water tower was built during 1876, as was Settle station. The line itself was opened for freight in 1875. Only then was it possible to transport by rail to sites along the line to build the stations and associated buildings. By far the heaviest and bulkiest components required were the massive CAST IRON beams to support the water tanks. Two of the line's water tanks - ours and the identical one at Hawes Junction (now Garsdale) - were far bigger than all of the others. Maybe Carlisle Durran Hill was a big one too.
Why so? Perhaps it was thought that those places would be busier than those elsewhere so bigger supplies of water would be needed. Maybe so but not that much busier. Maybe Settle and Hawes Junction had better or more plentiful water supplies locally. 'Better' may seem to be a strange term for water. Well as far as steam boilers are concerned the quality of water matters greatly. Neither too acid (as would drain from peat moorlands) nor too hard as might be expected from limestone areas. Furring of locomotive boilers was a serious and expensive problem. Costly and huge water softening equipment was installed at key sites across the nation's railways, at locomotives works especially. At the Midland Railway's Derby works there were several water softening tanks with cast iron panels identical to ours, at ground level without need of beams:
During the months I was working on the outside of the tank I got to know each component panel very well indeed, A few things puzzled me.
1. The painted letters on the painted panels. Only five or so panels bore letters, They were L., R.(inverted), E (inverted), Q (right way up but off-centre) and C (or perhaps another Q whose right side had worn off). If you enlarge the screen shot below from Restoration Man Best Builds you can see them. They make no sense. They had been applied to the outsides of already painted panels - perhaps to identify assembled panels on an existing but redundant tanks elsewhere. They appear random and incomplete:
Thursday 18 January 2024
This appeared on Facebook from Hornsea Civic Society:
What a good idea. The supply was a local spring from which the water was pumped, powered by wind. What a fascinating spectacle it must have been. Hornsea is in the Lincolnshire flatlands with plenty of free wind.
Wednesday 27 December 2023
Monday 18 December 2023
We are in a mild period of winter weather just now. It has become my habit to go to the roof room and attempt the Daily Telegraph crosswords for enjoyment justified as brain training, The other morning this was the scene which greeted my arrival by lift. A patch of sunshine to the west with a heavy cloud above it - but with a silver lining:
What a view eh? I put it on Facebook and it is getting lots of likes and shares. Not as many though as this set of pictures of a deserted but Christmassy Settle earlier this week as I walked home with the town to myself from Townhead surgery. 311 likes and rising. View them in reverse order to follow my route and click on any pic to enlarge:
Saturday 9 December 2023
Steam Railway December magazine 552 has hit the bookstalls and my article about the water tower is in it - all SIX pages of it. Here are the first two - a double page spread. If you want to read the rest you will have to buy a copy. There's a lot of magazine for your money - we're on pages 88-93.
They had asked TV's Tim Dunn for suggestions about re-used railway buildings to feature. He put our water tower at the top of the list apparently.