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Water towers - Buildings - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Jun 9th, 2021 06:36 pm
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Headmaster
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Now, whenever we have a new member joins, we always say there is no such thing as a stupid question, but I might be pushing the limits of that claim recently.  Anyway, here goes with another one.
Here is the (converted) water tower at Faversham.



What was actually inside a water tower?  Was it some sort of pumping mechanism?  Did locos take their water from such a tower, or were these a sort of distribution hub to filling pumps on the platform?  And where did the tower get its water? And was it stored in the metal tank on top of the tower, or is that something completely different?  (I have an image of it collecting rain water in the hope of keeping a few thousand train journeys going.  OK, maybe I'm not quite that daft, but I can come close!)  On the wall between the far two windows is clearly an old connector tap.  Would a hose have been attached to that to feed the loco?


The original railway line, or at least a siding, ran past the tower and the houses you can just make out around it, and the road, did not exist.  But when the station was rebuilt and the track layout changed (Faversham became a junction) the line no longer ran to the water tower.  However, this was still in the late 1800s, (1898 to be precise) so still steam.....

I await your wisdom, knowledge and insights.

Michael



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 Posted: Wed Jun 9th, 2021 07:19 pm
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John Dew
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What a gorgeous building…..I do hope that you are going to model it?
The tower height provided both storage and pressure for distribuition. I wondered if the tank extended down behind the top row of window with some form of pumping mechanism on the ground floor.

The water could be distribuited either direct from a crane attached to the tower or through a network of cranes installed around the station/yard.

I believe the original supply of water varied….Railway Company, Town Corporation etc……On some rural branches it was from a local spring and the local branch loco would be used to pump it up and fill the much more utilitarian tank

You have such nice buildings in Feversham



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 Posted: Wed Jun 9th, 2021 07:29 pm
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Colin W
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That is an unusual design there!

I'd always taken the yard tank to be just another variant of header tank, still found in homes today. For tender filling the flow rate requirements would no doubt have exceeded the mains ability to deliver in those days or because of lack of suitable nearby high volume supply..

Presumably the simple platform syphon was connected to some header tank elsewhere in the precinct.



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 Posted: Wed Jun 9th, 2021 07:43 pm
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Thank you John, you never fail to explain things in a way I can understand.  I will check out your thoughts about the tank/windows.  Someone here is bound to remember.
Michael



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 Posted: Wed Jun 9th, 2021 07:44 pm
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Thank you Colin, yes that makes sense too.  I will ask around.
Michael



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 Posted: Wed Jun 9th, 2021 07:51 pm
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When you have lived in a town for over 20 years, you rather take the architecture for granted.  However, when I started to look at buildings to model, I realised how spoilt for choice I was here.  We are only a little market town and have suffered the problems of large shopping malls and out of town complexes, so we are not as thriving as we might be (I won't get into Town politics, which infuriate me no end and I feel like a lone voice of reason on the Town Council!) but yes, there are some lovely and unusual buildings.  The water tower being one of them.  And now I feel a duty to model it!!
Michael



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 Posted: Thu Jun 10th, 2021 03:36 am
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peterm
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I think a man of talents would have no trouble modelling that.



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 Posted: Thu Jun 10th, 2021 04:24 am
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Hi Michael and what an interesting subject.

Google maps clearly shows that the tower is enclosed at the top but whether that was how it was or it was enclosed as part of the conversion to a house, who knows.

Here is an extract from Wikipedia,
Railway Water Tower. C1858 for the London, Chatham and Dover Railway, probably by
their engineer Crampton. Classical style rectangular structure of 2 storeys, 3 windows
built of stock brick with red dressings, riveted iron water tank above and iron framed
windows. Road elevation has 1st floor blank round-headed openings in arcading and
3 ground floor round headed openings with fixed iron glazing, all with rubbed red
brick arches. Rear elevation similar but entirely of blank arcading. Left side
round headed doorcase with fanlight and blank above. Moulded brick eaves cornice.
Above is riveted iron water tank reached by fixed iron ladder. Included for rarity
of survival of railway water towers.

You may be welcomed by the current owners if you pay a visit and they may be able to supply you with more information.

Good luck with endeavours to create a model.



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 Posted: Thu Jun 10th, 2021 05:31 am
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Barchester
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See what you started Michael ? I've just 'lost' an hour reading about water Towers !   :thumbs
Aparently they have an inlet pipe, an outlet pipe, and overflow. . The one at Mill Yard stabled the station Horse underneath, The one at Settle was a girt big un and stabled Several horses underneath, and some had a chimney ( for heating to stop them freezing ?)

Enough already I got work to do !  :mutley

Cheers (An easily distracted)

Matt



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 Posted: Thu Jun 10th, 2021 05:45 am
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Longchap
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A seemingly simple question with enthusiastic, considered and constructive responses, resulting in a new prototype model soon to be on Michael's workbench.

Poetry in motion :cheers


Well done YMRC,

Bill



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 Posted: Thu Jun 10th, 2021 12:57 pm
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Thank you all, sorry to have diverted your attention, Matt!  I shall try a knock on the door at the weekend to see if the owners have any further information.
Michael




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 Posted: Thu Jun 10th, 2021 02:19 pm
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Here in rural France, much of our water is still fed from towers.  It's pumped up, often from underground aquifers or the large rivers and the height of the tower tower creates the pressure in the taps.  It works like a dream until we have a prolonged power cut when there is a very real risk of the tower running dry.

I presume your tower works on exactly the same principle Michael.  If you connect a large enough pipe to a large enough hole in the tank, one could fill a loco tender in a few minutes.  No mains supply could provide that volume in such a short time.



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 Posted: Mon Jun 14th, 2021 05:49 pm
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A very pleasant 30 minutes at the water tower at the weekend.  The original owners who did the conversion left framed photographs which still adorn the walls, although sadly, the pumping mechanism had been removed when the tower was originally decommissioned.  However, there were photos of evidence of what was in there.  Basically a large pump taking mains water up through a pipe, some of  which remained and then it came back down another pipe to an outside tap which was connected to a hose for filling the locos, and one overflow pip, still in existence.  Pretty basic but highly effective.  The tank itself is now a very pleasant rooftop garden.
Michael



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 Posted: Tue Jun 15th, 2021 07:14 am
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Petermac
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That adds a whole new dimension to "we've got a walled garden"........

There's a very famous conversion of a domestic supply water tower in Dalkieth which is now apparently, a restaurant.

Google "Dalkieth water tower" and have a look - it's very impressive.




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 Posted: Tue Jun 15th, 2021 08:24 am
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Longchap
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This reminds me of the water tower conversion on Grand Designs some years back.
 
https://www.granddesignsmagazine.com/grand-designs-houses/32-grand-designs-water-tower-conversion-london
 
They can make spectacular homes and with interesting views, but I'd rather do a conversion from a country station building to get a fuller railway ambience, hopefully with the platform and stationmaster's garden.
 
The current Faversham tower owners get a gold star for letting you take a glimpse inside Michael.
 
Right, back to topic and enjoy the continuing  research voyage of discovery.
 
Best,
 
Bill



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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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