|WEST 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.