4 thoughts on “Emergency Water Tanks, High Street c1940s

  1. For about 12 years after the war there were a set of concrete water tanks set about 30 yards from the south entrance of Tilery Boys school. They were on the other side of Lucy street, which was a long open street with the rows of terraced houses in Tilery on one side and the mass of little corrugated gardens walls and sheds on the other.

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    • Emergency water tanks were thick on the ground during the war, placed at strategic spots where housing was densest or factories and schools had no Hydrants, very few places had Hydrants at that time. Norton had the Duck Pond on the Green, the bottom end of the High Street Norton had a big round metal tank and they did come in all shapes and sizes. Parts of Streets were taken up by solid brick built shelters, enough room to take both sides of the Street and any stray night wanderers. schools also had their own shelters although apart from practice I only remember having to go into the Richard Hind Shelters a couple of times. The only time the iron gate in the wall between us and the girls was opened, much to our joy the shelters were in their yard and shared, chairs and whips were needed to get us lot out when the all clear went.
      One thing that struck me as odd, Cinema’s were locked down when the siren went I have memory of being in the Avenue Cinema for several hours, they showed the film at least twice and any thing else they had handy. If a bomb had hit a large section of the populace would have vanished. The same happened coming from Stockton on the bus, we were forbidden to get off and the driver pulled right up against Hills wall, if that lot had come down it would have been curtains.
      The water tanks came in useful during the big freeze in 1947, all the taps froze in the Army Camp we broke the ice on the static water tanks to fill buckets for washing in and yes we still had to shave.

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      • I remember when we lived in Calf Fallow Lane just after the war there were brick air raid shelters in the cobbled street. The council or army can’t remember which came along with a huge crane and a demolition ball instead of a hook on it to knock them down.

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  2. Those tanks were for the AFS wartime fire fighters to use during or after Air Raids in case of fire. The usual way was to run suction pipes down to the river though at low tide this could prove difficult owing to mud flats, filters blocked up and the fire tender suction pumps were not too powerful. There was one at the South end of the High Street as well, New Years Eve often saw revelers taking an early bath.
    The Army truck is an Austin followed by a Bedford along side a Mechanical Horse normally that would be NE Rail, the Van possibly a Morris. The Bow window above Sparks Cake shop was the Cafe where we had our wedding reception. The Town as I knew it now long gone though some of it needed to go, things move on.

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