ID COR_018 / Brian Jay / Don Rainbird / Ron Green

TitleWest Mersea Water Tower on fire
AbstractWEST MERSEA WATER TOWER on fire !

From "Back in Time - The Mersea picture album" in Mersea Courier

In the late 1920s Mersea builders, Clifford White & Company, built a new water tower in Upland Road. The supporting walls for the tank were constructed using bricks manufactured in the local brickworks, also owned by Clifford White, which was situated in Kingsland Road on the site of the present Rushmere Close.

The tower supplied properties in West Mersea with fresh water at the turn of a tap and must have been a welcome improvement after collecting water in buckets from wells or ponds. The water was pushed up from the bore hole to the storage tank by a pump on the ground floor.

In May 1931 a fire, believed to be caused by an oily rag catching alight, started in the engine driving the pump and quickly spread upwards through the duct in the centre of the tower into the roof. Despite the efforts of the local fire brigade, they stood very little chance of containing the fire with their hand pump mounted on a handcart and as a result the fire burned out of control and completely destroyed the roof of the tower.

Firemen with their manually operated equipment attempt to control the fire.

The fire has now got out of control and the top of the tower is burning fiercely.

West Mersea Fire Brigade with their handcart in Kingsland Road. They did not get their first motorised engine until 1936
L-R: Alec Green, Horace Whiting, Edgar Jopson, Arthur Mills, Ivan Mole, unknown, Gordon Mussett, unknown, Ernie Dixon, unknown & Herbert Burgess. The girl watching is a Miss Deeks.

Read More:
Mersea Water - Mersea Life article 2020

AuthorBrian Jay / Don Rainbird / Ron Green
PublishedMay 1931
SourceMersea Museum / Mersea Island Courier
IDCOR_018
Related Images:
 West Mersea Fire Brigade at Kingsland Road, School Corner.
 L-R 1. Alec Green, 2. Edgar Jopson, 3. Horace Whiting, 4. Arthur Mills, 5. Ivan Mole ??, 6. Gordon Mussett handle, ?? Ernie Dixon, ?? Herbert Burgess, Girl Deeks.
 Reproduced in 1972 Mistral, which gives the names as 1. Alec Green, 2. Horace Whiting, 3. Edgar Jopson, 4. Arthur Mills, 5. Jack Cook, 6. Les Cathercole, 7. Gordon Mussett, 8. Leonard Mills, 9. Ernie Dixon, 10. Tim Mole, 11. Herb Burgess. See <a href=mmphoto.php?typ=ID&hit=1&tot=1&ba=cke&rhit=1&bid=MIS_1972_020 ID=1>MIS_1972_020 </a> 
 Used in Essex Countryside Dec 2000 P48, which gives the date as Before 1929.  RG19_171
ImageID:   RG19_171
Title: West Mersea Fire Brigade at Kingsland Road, School Corner.
L-R 1. Alec Green, 2. Edgar Jopson, 3. Horace Whiting, 4. Arthur Mills, 5. Ivan Mole ??, 6. Gordon Mussett handle, ?? Ernie Dixon, ?? Herbert Burgess, Girl Deeks.
Reproduced in 1972 Mistral, which gives the names as 1. Alec Green, 2. Horace Whiting, 3. Edgar Jopson, 4. Arthur Mills, 5. Jack Cook, 6. Les Cathercole, 7. Gordon Mussett, 8. Leonard Mills, 9. Ernie Dixon, 10. Tim Mole, 11. Herb Burgess. See MIS_1972_020
Used in Essex Countryside Dec 2000 P48, which gives the date as Before 1929.
Date:Before 1929
Source:Ron Green Collection