Richard K Williams book Village Pumps is a concise summary of the history, technology and terminology of water pumps. The book is richly illustrated with diagrams and photographs and will be of interest to every Whitley Pump reader.
A pump is not a well, a bore, a tap, a standpipe, a hydrant or a fountain.
A pump is a mechanical device for transferring water through a pipe from its source to another location or container.
Some old pumps were converted to supply mains water and. strictly speaking, have ceased to be pumps.
The history of water pumps goes back to Greece around 250BC and the remains of a wooden Roman pump have been found at Silchester. Lead pumps were common and more durable than wood, but most of the pumps that survive today are nineteenth century cast iron pumps.
The book gives examples of different pump designs, from the plain and simple to the very ornate. Wooden shelters or stone canopies were built to protect some pumps and one that is definitely worth a visit is in Woolpit in Suffolk. The shelter was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee in 1897 and the roof is supported by four posts with carvings of four queens; Boudicca, Elizabeth I, Anne and Victoria.
The final chapter gives practical advice about how to restore or renovate a pump. The author has a website Village Pumps with photographs and information about pumps all over the UK. Village Pumps can be purchased from Shire Books for £5.59.
The Whitley Pump will continue to twin with drinking fountains, drinking troughs and mains water spouts even if they are not really pumps.