ICEY&H Retired members' AGM followed by a talk on water towers of Britain, Pontefract

15 February, 2017 | 10:30 - 14:00

Following the AGM, Barry Barton will give his presentation on water towers.
Following the AGM, Barry Barton will give his presentation on water towers.

About this event

Following the AGM of Yorkshire and Humber's retired members' group, Barry Barton will give an illustrated talk outlining the purpose and function of water towers and will look at their evolution over the past three centuries. Although primarily associated with public water supply, water towers were also used by the railways, industry and the military, and examples of those will be covered in the presentation.

Given the basic requirement of any water tower - the elevated storage of a substantial volume of water above ground level - in the early years a considerable variety of designs emerged from a range of agencies, there being very few standard designs adopted country-wide, even when using the same structural material. It is a fascinating study in itself.

Still a relatively common feature of the British landscape, both rural and urban, modern pump operation and control systems have diminished the need for water towers and as a consequence their numbers are slowly but steadily decreasing. The long term future of water towers is uncertain.

The talk will include examples of water towers in our region and which will be familiar landmarks to many members. Historic film footage of the construction of one such tower will be shown.


Dr Barry Barton CEng MICE MCIWEM

Barry worked for the Anglian Water Authority until the privatisation of the water industry in 1989. He is a member of the ICE's Panel for Historical Engineering Works (PHEW) and of its Water Towers Sub-Panel, maintaining the Institution's Water Towers Archive at One Great George Street. Barry is the author of the standard reference book on the subject of his talk.


10.30: Coffee and registration
11.00: Retired members' (RICE) Annual General Meeting and announcements
11.20: Talk by Barry Barton, followed by questions and discussion
12.45: Bar open and buffet lunch service


To book your place please email by 13 February 2017, indicating if you will stay for lunch. Payment for the buffet lunch will be in cash when you register at the meeting. The cost will be £12 per person and £2 for dessert.

Organised by the ICE Yorkshire and Humber retired members' section.