Water, water everywhere is often the case in winter and this week I’m turning my attention to municipal efforts over the years to ensure that our region has sufficient water in times of low rainfall and that waste water is efficiently processed.

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1. My first five photos feature the Norwich Waterworks at Heigham. This first picture shows the governors and part of the massive flywheel of the old steam pump. It was no longer in use in March 1954, when our photo was taken, but was kept in a constant state of repair.

2. In a field bordering the River Wensum at the Waterworks, a site was being prepared for a new chlorination contact tank to deal with small harmless water worms that had been causing problems. Test piles had been driven and a loading test was being carried out. Our photo shows the loading test in preparation in March 1954.

3. New sewers being driven in Norwich in 1956/57 required miners to work 12-hours shifts below Chapel Field Road. In this picture the cage comes up, with John Vernor (miner), Tom Ennis (leading miner), Bill Kelly and Frank Boyle (labourers) on board in March, 1957.

4. Sewer work in Norwich was nearing its end in March 1957 and two tunnels, one from Chapel Field, the other from Grapes Hill, had been driven (taking 8 months of round-the-clock working) which met with a mere 3-16 inch out for line and ¼ inch out for level. Workmen are shown caulking up the join at the end of the tunnel which ran from the Grapes Hill shaft.

5. In this wintry picture from January 1963 a mechanical shovel removes ice from the filter beds at the Waterworks. The men in the boat guide the broken ice towards the shovel.

6. Our final few pictures illustrate a few of the many water towers in our region. The first is a view of the water tower built to serve the New Alliance Artificial Silk Works in Oulton Broad. At the time of our photo it was being redeveloped for use as offices for the Oulton TV Works but was finally demolished in 1967.

7. The subject of a “Where Is It” question in the EDP of April 1955, our next picture is a close-up of Old Buckenham Water Tower, looking very much like a castle adornment.

8. The 60-ft high water tower at Didlington Hall near Brandon was demolished by 12 lb. of gelignite, courtesy of Mr R Moore, explosives expert of Heyhoe Bros. Norwich in 1956.

9. “Probably the most picturesque water tower in Norfolk is the one at West Wretham”. So writes the EDP of the ruined church of St Lawrence at Wretham near Thetford which harboured a water tank in its tower during the 1950s.

10. Looking more like the end of a giant trumpet poking out of the earth than a conventional mushroom, the new-style water tower at East Carleton caused some controversy when it was built in 1983. It was part of the Norwich water undertaking’s plan to supply outlying villages with water from a new borehole sunk at Colney.

-If you recognise anyone in the pictures or would like to tell us more about them you can email Rosemary.Dixon@archant.co.uk

- To get a copy of our old photographs, visit www.edp24.co.uk/buyaphoto or telephone Diane Townsend Mon-Fri on 01603 772449. The photos will be availble on the website from Monday afternoon.






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