I need help. (Muted cyber-chorus of agreement.) Why is it that I find water towers,and I have to say these white-painted ones, so appealing? And at the same time find wind turbines so unattractive to the eye? I found this one on my fenland tour whilst out picking-off candidates for Classic Constructs, a new book for later on in the year. It sits out in the bleak landscape at Newton, where Cambridgeshire narrows to a point up near The Wash, a simple unadorned landmark structure that has enormous appeal for its functional simplicity. Coupled with the fact that thought was given to its placement here by planting a stand of silver birch and willow around it. Water towers are necessary where natural gradients are insufficient to maintain a good head of water, and, like all things, the acceptability of their presence in isolated countryside comes down to design. There are stunning examples- the landmark towers of Ravensden in Bedfordshire, the Wellsian science fiction Mappleton out on the Plain of Holderness. You probably wouldn't want one looking over your back garden- the concrete and glass Haddenham comes to mind- but necessity can still be the mother of inventive design. I suppose it comes down to taste, like good old-fashioned tap water versus over-priced 'eau' run-off from your local volcano.
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