Wednesday, 29 June 2011

A Riveting Read

As well as its outstanding legacy of mediaeval churches, Norfolk is replete with what one expert has described as:
"Certainly the foremost assemblage of vintage churchyard water storage solutions in Norfolk."

Here, for instance, is a handsome Judkins style tank with distinctive Arkinstall riveting. It sits, stout and sturdy, on a simple brick plinth, with an Alexander tap. In terms of date range, we are talking 1949-1960 - for it was in this all-too short flowering that this particular style of galvinised water tank reached its zenith. A triumphant survivor! 

Ryan Bryan (author of 'Galvinised Water Tanks in Norfolk Graveyards')


  1. The RSAR are delighted to showcase experts such as Ryan Bryan, and we wish him well in his ongoing search for the elusive 'Kavanagh Trap'

  2. Thanks Ryan Bryan

    Once again you have proven yourself an invaluable research tool for the student of vintage churchyard water storage solutions in Norfolk. I for one did not realise that the Tong-Howey Overflow must be fitted at precisely six inches below maximum fillage in order to assure safe usage parameters.


  3. The water tank gazette30 June 2011 at 16:17

    Fabulous article there Mr Ryan Bryan. I particularly like the patina on the exterior shell of that specimen. Our readers will be most excited to see this, in this week's magazine. The Arkinstall rivets are indeed a joy to behold, the craftsmanship, the unique, precise positioning and spacing surely boasts of being a prime example of its kind.
    Thank, thank you for sharing.

  4. Dear Mr Many Coats,

    The Tong-Howey overflow is a most ingenious system, however, it was merely the beginning of a far more complete system known as the Howey-Tong Overflow, fitted at precisely five and one quarter inches.

  5. To have such praise from a journal with the esteemed reputation of the Water Tank, it is... well, humbling

  6. Dear Ryan Bryan

    Thanks for the updated information. As an amateur student of vintage churchyard water storage solutions in Norfolk I would have felt very silly talking about the Tong-Howey overflow system when it had been superseded by the more advanced Howey-Tong unit. Tell me though - Would I be right in thinking that both these models are considered a great leap forward from the older and inferior Davro-Gee overflow device?

  7. Dear Ryan Bryan.

    Please forgive me. I meant the VanDay - Gee overflow system. What a fool I've been as everyone knows the Davro-Gee unit is a filtration device designed for collecting water tank slurry.

    Sorry for the mistake Mr Bryan, although the question still stands and perhaps you can let me know when you have finished making your mind up


    +Many Coats+

  8. Dear Many Coats,

    I think that most experts in the field would agree that the VanDay-Gee system was inferior in every way from the Tong-Howey, Howey-Tong solutions. Interestingly, much hope was placed on the 'Kavanagh Trap' to supercede both of these systems. However, despite ostensibly having all the elements in place to succeed, the system inexplicably seemed to perform in a manner which can only be described as 'sluggish'. The maverick HydroChurchist, Dr Greenidge has hypothesised that this might be the result of a ridge situated too near the outflow - a design feature he has characterised as "the dither ridge". I confess that I am still at a loss to come up with a plausible explanation for such poor performance...

  9. Dear Ryan Bryan,

    A most stimulating discussion!

    In the light of this, I wonder what your thoughts are regarding the Maxwell spout? Oft times I have observed these to overflow in a most unexpected fashion... most perplexing!

  10. Dear Mr. Munro Tweeder-Harris, Esq.,

    I recently gave a lecture on the Maxwell spout to the 'East Region HydroChurchist Fellows and Suffering Wives Association' (ERHFSWA), so it is very apposite of you to bring this up. My conclusion regarding the phenomenon you describe is that this is due to an agitation in the pit of the tank. A sensitive overflow piece, such as the Maxwell, is peculiarly liable to eruption.

  11. Dear Ryan Bryan,

    I was privileged to have attended your aforementioned lecture to the 'East Region HydorChurchist Fellows and Suffering Wives Association' (ERHFSWA). A most fascinating insight Sir!

    Myself, I am currently researching a paper concerning the unique Penfold cistern; although lacking depth this piece has an undoubted charm, and seems to have been much applauded by vicars wives residing in the Norfolk countryside.

  12. The water tank gazette1 July 2011 at 08:07

    Indeed Mr Harris, a fascinating discussion. It is most excellent to see our passion being drawn into the light by your learned society and would welcome more contributions. May I suggest a discussion about ballcocks? In 1947 many church water tanks were fitted with these clever devices in an effort to win the war, and quite clearly it worked. Although never tried in this combination before, I should imagine that the Kavanagh trap with a couple of well placed ballcocks would improve performance no end. I welcome your comments!

  13. I once had a problem with my ballcock, but I solved it by letting out my turnups. Since then Ragged Rambling has been so much easier.