Grandad's Watton

Charles Lintott

Billy also used to cut the hedges but there was one occasion when he was spared this task. At that time the school dentist used to travel round the County with a sort of horse-drawn wooden caravan thing containing the dreaded chair, drills and other pain-inflicting equipment, and one day his bored horse slipped its tether and wandered along, chewing the tender twigs off the hedge from one end to the other.


One asset the school did enjoy was a piped water supply to taps and toilets, and this was achieved by the installation of a water tower, pump and pumping engine. Most other properties were not so fortunate and water supplies were taken from a collection of pumps and wells, some on the properties, some communal. Many traders and house­ holders at the eastern end of High Street used the sturdy, wheel operated pump which stood in front of the clock tower: and at the western end the "Jubilee" pump which stood in the yard of the National School was widely used by families in that area. Even into this century some houses towards the edges of the town were using wells, which were deep brick-lined holes in the ground covered by a wooden well-head containing a handle-operated roller on which was a chain and a hook.'

The method was to fasten your bucket to the hook, lower it down to the water and then crank the full bucket back to the surface. You could then remove the bucket; fill up the kettle to make a cup of tea, and by that time you'd probably need it! To the best of my knowledge the only remaining well-head in Watton, now unused for many many years is in Mr Percy Button's garden at Brandon Road.

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