I AM enjoying writing and researching my time travelling on the borough’s railways.

It’s mainly a compendium of items from other researchers.

I’d done the chapter on the L&M from Stoney Lane to Parkside, when I realised no one had mentioned a much missed landmark: Newton Water Tower

Standing close to the railway line just to the east, it was a familiar sight to passengers.

It was the world’s largest water tower at its construction in 1904 and the second water tower in the UK to be built from reinforced concrete. It was the first of that kind for public supply.

Designed by Reed & Waring, Consulting Engineers, it was constructed by Cubitts & Co. at a cost of £6,000 for Newton in Makerfield Urban District Council.

The tank, supported on a trellis-work of concrete legs, was 72 feet in diameter and 12 foot deep, with the roof 82 feet above the ground (117 feet above its foundation) and had a small central turret. It had a capacity of 300,000 gallons.

The structure leaked when filled and had to be lined on several occasions.

The tower came into use in 1906, with a steam engine operating a bucket type pump. In 1933 this was replaced by two 64½ horse power Sulzer electrical impeller type pumps that raised water from a 200 foot deep well into the tower. The tower underwent repairs in 1910, 1933 and 1962; it was no longer being used in 1977.

Although it was a listed building, North West Water Authority got permission to demolish it largely because it was structurally unsound and would cost something in excess of £50,000 to repair. It was demolished in 1979.

Meanwhile, Paul O’Haire, formerly of Clock Face, emailed a photo (above left) of his brother-in-law, who came across this bus at a storage facility in Vancouver, Canada.