The Whitley Pump

The view from Katesgrove Hill

Category: Pumps and water troughs (page 1 of 2)

Twinned with the Whitley Pump – the Funchal drinking fountain by Max Römer

Fontanario da Imperatriz – 1844

Funchal, on the island of Madeira, has more than enough drinking fountains for a dedicated tourist trail. If we had to pick one that really stands out for twinning, it would have to be this one which is situated up on the hill just north of the casino. There is also a very circuituous and tenuous link back to the Whitley Pump.

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – Walton Well drinking fountain

Walton Well drinking fountain

In Jericho, Oxford’s answer to Katesgrove, you will find Walton Well drinking fountain. It is situated at the junction of Walton Well Road with Southmoor Road and Longworth Road and right opposite the site of the former Eagle Ironworks. There had been a well, a spring and a ford at this point until the 1880s, but that had been filled in. Former Oxford Mayor William Ward presented the fountain in 1885.

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Village Pumps by Richard Williams

Richard K Williams book Village Pumps is a concise summary of the history, technology and terminology of water pumps. The book is richly illustrated with diagrams and photographs and will be of interest to every Whitley Pump reader.

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Four years old today!

Dancing on the Village Green, engraving by J P Le Bas after David Teniers. Wellcome collection.

The Whitley Pump is four years old today!

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – Sandwich in Bloom

Sandwich in Bloom with pump behind

We struggled to read the maker’s name on this water pump in Kent which was almost hidden behind the ‘Sandwich in Bloom’ bicycle. Google came to the rescue (and more).

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – postcard from Gibraltar

Queen Victoria’s Monument, Gunners’ Parade, Gibraltar c. 1910

Queen Victoria’s Monument on Gunners’ Parade in Gibraltar is in the form of a drinking fountain with a bowl for dogs at the base. On the rear is the inscription “Erected by the inhabitants of Gibraltar 1910”.

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31 December – Congratulations to the Hampstead drinking trough

The trough adjacent to Reading Central Swinming Pool

The Whitley Pump would like to congratulate the cattle trough and drinking fountain on Spaniards Road in Hampstead, London on making the Historic England list of 23 remarkable places listed in 2018. We hope to make an official twinning visit during 2019.

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Community Energy for Reading – grants for sustainability initiatives


Reading Community Energy Society is offering grant funding for sustainability initiatives in and around Reading, from £100 to £5,000 for initiatives which meet one or more of the following aims:
-Improving energy efficiency
-Reducing carbon emissions
-Support sustainability in the local community including educational projects

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – the Jubilee Fountain

The Queen Victoria Jubilee Fountain in St Mary’s Butts, Reading is described by Historic England as “a typical Victorian amalgam of forms and conceits”. It was placed there to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne.

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – Grainger Memorial Fountain

A postcard from Newcastle upon Tyne.

The Grainger Memorial Fountain was originally in Neville Street (the road in front of Newcastle’s central station) but has now been repositioned, tucked away in Waterloo Street.

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Could St Laurence’s drinking fountain flow again?

St Laurence’s Church Fountain

Always a nice moment when conflicting agendas collide and something good comes of it for everyone. During the ‘questions from the public and councillors’ section of an edgy and rancorous Reading Borough Council (RBC) policy committee on 24 September, councillor Tony Page seemed to suggest that St Laurence’s drinking fountain could flow again.

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – Pebble Lane pump, Aylesbury

Pebble Lane, Aylesbury

This cast iron pump on Pebble Lane in Aylesbury is 10 feet tall and supplied water to the centre of the town. Pebble Lane is the street at the back of the Buckinghamshire County Museum.

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Three years old today!

Geburtstagsgruß (‘Birthday greetings’), Germany 1900, via Wikimedia commons.

Our Whitley Pump hyperlocal news blog is three years old today. Happy birthday to us!

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – Elizabeth Curling drinking fountain, Eastbourne

This drinking fountain in Eastbourne has been moved around a bit. It is now on Sea Houses Square, just off Marine Parade and east of the pier.

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Three days to go before Reading Abbey re-opens

Cloister style garden with Elizabeth Frink statue and Abbey and Prison in the distance

Just three days until Reading Abbey re-opens (#abbeymania) and up here on the hill what we most want to know is – ‘If the water supply for the Abbey came from the Whitley Conduit where did it arrive?’

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Whitley Conduit plaque features in Reading Museum display

A plaque which was placed on the Whitley Conduit when it was refurbished in 1908 is now on show in the new Story of Reading Gallery display at Reading Museum.

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – Woolhampton Drinking Fountain

Woolhampton’s drinking fountain was presented to the village (which is on the A4 halfway between Reading and Newbury) by Miss Charlotte Blyth, a member of the family who owned the Woolhampton estate at the time, to mark the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. The inscription on the wall inside says “Righteousness Exalteth a Nation. Victoria R.I. Diamond Jubilee 1897”.

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World Book Day 2018

As a celebration of World Book Day 2018, the Whitley Pump looks back at the books we reviewed in the last year.

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – St Lawrence Jewry Memorial Fountain

A lot of thought went into the design of the Santa & Cole drinking spout to the City of London’s re-sited St Lawrence and Mary Magdalene water fountain.

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Book Review – Parched City by Emma M Jones

Parched City‘ was an impulse buy from the Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC) bookshop. The cover featuring the 1859 opening of London’s first public drinking fountain in the wall of St Sepulchre’s Church in the City of London was a magnet for this Whitley Pump correspondent.

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