Toast to spring’s centenary

DIGNITARIES marked the anniversary of a pumping station by toasting its centenary with glasses of water! Yesterday (Wednesday) marked the 100th birthday of the New Spring, Biggleswade Water Treatment Works south of the town on the A1. New Spring, thought

DIGNITARIES marked the anniversary of a pumping station by toasting its centenary with glasses of water!

Yesterday (Wednesday) marked the 100th birthday of the New Spring, Biggleswade Water Treatment Works south of the town on the A1.

New Spring, thought to be the largest supply of water from a well of its kind in the country when it was created in 1907, is housed inside one of the finest examples of both utilitarian and art nouveau architecture.

At the event was the Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Samuel Whitbread whose great grandfather was one of those whose vision led to the works being built and the Whitbread family paying £6,000 for the sinking of the test well. The rest of the money came from public loans and the cost today of such a project is estimated at £4.5 million.


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Water supply in the area had been poor in the late 1800s and as Biggleswade was growing the need to find a good supply of water became urgent to help with sanitation in the town to keep the area free from disease.

Many people at the time doubted whether New Spring would be a success but they have all been proved wrong as the spring still supplies 70 litres of water a second.

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Anglian Water, which now owns New Spring, is also investing £100,000 in the building which is Grade II listed.

Pictured at the anniversary party are Biggleswade mayor Cllr Wendy Smith, Mike Strange, honorary archivist of the Biggleswade Historical Society, Trish Brocklebank, director Anglian Water, and the Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Samuel Whitbread.

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