Anglian Water and the Rotary Club celebrates over 100 years of clean and safe drinking water in Lincoln

01 October 2021


Anglian Water and the Rotary Club are today, on Lincolnshire Day, unveiling the Lincoln frieze to commemorate the building of Westgate water tower in Lincoln providing clean, safe water to the city following the outbreak of Typhoid in the area.


Westgate water tower was built in the City Centre in 1911 to provide clean drinking water to residents following an outbreak of Typhoid in 1905, at this time water was pumped from Elkesley, west of the city, to Lincoln. Part of the original pump house building in Elkesley held a large stone frieze, built in 1911, which has been carefully restored by the Rotary Club of Lincoln and the Lincoln Civic Trust and will now be displayed at Wickham Gardens, next to Westgate Water Tower.


Anglian Water previously celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the water tower by holding a one-day WaterAid event, raising funds for a project in Madagascar, also on the 1 October in 2011. This celebrated water from Elkesley entering the city pipes for the first time, after six years of collecting water by pails on a daily basis.


Trevor Pacey from The Rotary Club said, “The City’s water supply came from Hartsholme Lake through filter beds in Altham Terrace. The water supply was polluted by the river which seeped into the filter beds and made the water unsafe to drink. So, an alternative safe permanent water supply had to be sought. In the meantime, water had to be imported into Lincoln by train and horse drawn transport, sadly this was to continue over a period of six years.


“Eventually a new supply was negotiated from Elkesley in Nottinghamshire, 22 miles away, and a pumping station was erected, and the water piped into Lincoln in 1911.


“The arrival of the water was celebrated in the Arboretum to the sound of a peal of bells from the Cathedral, when a fountain jet of water 70 feet high was switched on by the Mayor of Lincoln, Clement Henry Newsum. Clement later became the Founder President of the Rotary Club of Lincoln in 1922 and was knighted by King George V in June 1935.”


Ian Rule, Director of Water Resources for Anglian Water said, “Anglian Water is entering an exciting time for water supply across the region. The water tower represents an important time in history and our commitment to provide clean and safe drinking water to all of our customers has never been more prominent.


“We recently announced the start of our new £400million Strategic Pipeline Programme, an ambitious scheme to lay 500km of new pipelines across the Anglian Water region bringing water from the ‘wetter’ parts of north of Lincolnshire, through the county and beyond to the drier south eastern parts of our region. This is one of the largest infrastructure projects in the UK and forms a key part of our Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP), which sets out how we will manage the water supplies in our region to meet current and future needs over 25 years. The new pipelines will also strengthen local resilience by reducing the number of homes and businesses which rely on a single water source.”


In attendance at the unveiling of the frieze at Westgate water tower along with members of the Rotary club were Cllr Jackie Kirk – Lincoln Mayor, Simon Walters – Director for Communities and the Environment, Lincoln City Council, Cllr Robert Parker and Cllr Rebecca Longbottom from Lincoln City Council.