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Sunday 21 August 2011

LSWR Water Tower - Salisbury

The tank of the Salisbury water tower was the basis for the tank that I made for my Crewkerne water tower model, being identical style as far as I can determine.

The Salisbury tank is an extremely rare survivor from the LSWR that can still be seen today. This particularly style (with embossed elongated roundel on each panel segment) appeared at several stations along the main line, sometimes with extended height and with or without a curved or pitched roof. (The Salisbury tank originally had a pitched roof).

Salisbury LSWR water tower is believed to have been erected in 1868 and has been unused since the 1960s. It is located in an inaccessible place next to the main line yet prominently visible from nearby public places; a car park to the south and housing estate to the north.

At the end of 2010 the Swanage Railway Trust obtained permission to dismantle the tower and re-erect it on the preserved Swanage Railway. Recently they have secured funding for the works. Sometime within the next couple of years it will be gone from Salisbury. So, if you want to see it at its original location and snap a photograph then visit now.

To The Model

Friday 5 August 2011

LSWR Water Tower

About 30 years ago I drew up plans for Crewkerne Station Building and Water Tower, scaled from my own photographic survey of the buildings. Construction of the model station building was soon underway, made from eighth inch hardboard and card but, I never got around to making the water tower - until last week.

The water tower is London and South Western railway architecture in the Gothic style, probably designed by Sir William Tite who definitely designed the station building. The actual water tower had the tank removed many years ago to be replaced by a pitched roof. I wanted to re-instate the tank for the model and whilst photos of this tower and similar ones abound none that I found show the top of the tank as it was originally built. Photographs from the 1900s show no roof over the tank but whether it was open or fully enclosed metal is unknown. So, I have opted for full enclosure until new information comes to light. Something else that is also unknown at this time is the fittings for the Crewkerne tower, i.e. pipe work, ladders, pumps?

This exact style of LSWR water tower in 4mm scale is not available from the trade, as far as I know. It was the realisation that with a computer, colour ink jet printer and a plethora of graphics readily available I could quickly and easily design and make a cardboard kit for it. Well, quickly - no and easily - no but, it has been a joy to create. I think because all the resources for it were readily available from my desk and the quality of precision graphic printing has resulted in a finely detailed model.

You may discern from the photo that there is some nice relief built into the walls and doors. This accurately mimics the prototype. The interior is fully decorated and I have left the tank a dry fit so that I can remove it to apply internal fittings to the tower later. The window matrices are transparent film with individual window frames printed on.

The kit comprises 58 parts (decorative panels plus templates for the backing card) spread across 6x A4 sheets and whilst none of them are fiddly, carefully handling and forming was required.
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