Bills Water Troughs are ubiquitous in the state of Victoria in Australia. They are so sought after that reproductions are now available.
One such caught my eye in Wycheproof on the long drive along the Calder highway from Bendigo to Mildura. It was manufactured by John Ricketts and stood next door to the Bakery on Broadway. We broke our journey there with a fortifying lunch of exceptionally good pies.
Wycheproof’s claim to fame is that the railway runs straight down the middle of the main road through the town centre. The line is now only used by freight trains and the station has closed.
The troughs are named after Annis and George Bills who met and married in Australia in the late nineteenth century. Annis was originally from Sheffield and George from Brighton. When George died in 1927 a trust fund was set up, one of the purposes of which was to erect horse troughs. Production of the troughs stopped by the end of the Second World War, as motorised transport took over from horse drawn vehicles.