Is this David Cameron’s big society at work? Community saves old water pump

PUBLISHED: 17:42 20 July 2011

The three musketeers: left to right Alf, John and Alan

The three musketeers: left to right Alf, John and Alan


AN IMPORTANT historical artefact has been saved by “community spirit” after it was accidentally run over by a car.

An ancient cast iron water pump, which is a major feature in the heart of the village of Great Easton, was knocked over and smashed into several pieces as a car rolled down a hill following a handbrake fault.

But now it has been restored to its former glory after some hard work, local knowledge and an act of kindness.

Dubbed by villagers as the three musketeers, village historian Alf Wright, parish council chairman John Lewis teamed up with Alan Hart to set about the task of bringing the old pump back to life.

Mr Lewis said: “It is a piece of the village’s history and is generations old – so we couldn’t just let it disappear for good.”

The trio faced one major difficulty. Cast Iron is notoriously hard to fix and weld back together. “We needed help,” said Mr Lewis.

A key moment arrived when Paul Rayner, a welder from nearby Lindsell, heard the story and immediately offered his help.

Mr Lewis said: “Paul was just the man we needed to help out and he did all the repairs for us, and did them brilliantly. We expected a hefty bill but he just told us to have it for free as his own family over the years had used gallons of water from the very same pump.

“Alf used to be a builder and so he knew how to reinstall it, I lent a hand and then Alan finished the job with a lick of paint.

“I think the whole things is a great example of the community spirit we have here in the village and in the surrounding area. We saved a little bit of history from being consigned to history itself.”

Although water does not run from the pump, it is now surrounded by a picturesque white chain link and four fence posts – an original milking bucket has also been donated by local residents Ann and George Caton.

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