Strength of numbers win day on repainting of Spalding water tower

Coun Gary Taylor and clean-up crusader Sandra White outside the water tower in January, 2015. SG160115-116TW
Coun Gary Taylor and clean-up crusader Sandra White outside the water tower in January, 2015. SG160115-116TW

A councillor at the forefront of a campaign for a clean-up of Spalding’s eyesore water tower says people power has won the day.

As reported in Tuesday’s Lincolnshire Free Press, Anglian Water has announced the Chatterton Water Tower, one of the town’s major landmarks, will be repainted.

Coun Gary Taylor and clean-up crusader Sandra White began a campaign in 2010 to have the structure spruced up and hundreds of people signed a petition.

“Strength of numbers make such a difference,” said Coun Taylor. “This just goes to show what can happen when people speak up.”

Anglian Water hasn’t publicly announced an official start-date for the work, but Coun Taylor says Anglian Water told him that scaffolding will go up towards the end of February, which could take four to six weeks, and then it will take another six to ten weeks for the paint job.

He said: “It’s probably a small team of people doing it.

“Work was last done in 1997, so it’s 20 years ago.”

When Anglian Water announced work was to begin, spokesman Emma Staples said: “We knew this project was important to people and we listened to what they had to say.”

Coun Taylor said the water tower has long been an eyesore which has given a bad impression of the town to visitors arriving by train, bus or car.

“Often it’s the first thing they see,” he said.

Sandra White quit Spalding for good in 2015 for a new home in Skegness.

In January 2015, when the campaign to have the water tower cleaned up stepped up a gear, Sandra told us: “Spalding should be a beautiful town but a building left in this condition is sending out the wrong message.”

She had collected signatures on a petition in 2010 and said she remembered standing at the bus station.

Sandra told us then: “It didn’t take long to get enough signatures. The tower looks its worst from that side.

“It’s the first thing everybody sees when coming into Spalding to park on Holland Market.”

In January 2015 Coun Taylor revealed he had again written to Anglian Water asking them to clean the tower, work he understood could be done for £3,000.

He told the company then: “I find it hard to understand why, when the water authority makes a profit of £202million, it doesn’t fund this work.

“I’m not asking Anglian Water to neglect any of the other projects it is working on but to put some of their resources into the water tower.”

Chatterton Water Tower was officially opened on April 27, 1955, and stores treated water for Spalding town and district.

There are two tanks inside the tower which together hold 3,409m3 of drinking water, enough to supply 340 average homes for a year.

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