I thought id start my comeback tour with this little gem, has been done before on here but not with all the history.
Thurrock in the 18th and 19th century had a number of commercial water wells, along side the numerous domestic house wells. In Fobbing parish, Vange Well no. 5 survives as a ruin. This well head once formed part of a series of wells.
Mineral water was first found in the area from a well sunk to the rear of Hovells Farm House, Vange in 1899. But the water, although seemingly clear, was found to have a peculiar taste and smell and when boiled, left a sediment and it was not used. However 1900 was a dry year and the farmer used the water for his cattle which thrived.
Edwin Cash, owner of the plot of land on higher ground and licensee of The Angel Islington, approached the farmer with a future commercial venture in mind.
A sample of the water was tested and found to be high in mineral content. But it was not until 1919, when Mr. Cash retired from The Angel, that he decided to develop his commercial interest. Sinking another well alongside the first, he also erected a large wooden ex-Army hut, surplus from the Great War, close to the two well heads.
Around the early part of 1920, Mr. Cash advertised his business address as Vange Wells, Vange Corner Estate, London Road, Fobbing. A further bottle label of March 1923 indicates the company was registered as The Vange Water Co. Ltd, Foster Lane, Cheapside, London EC2.
On March 24, 1923, the Grays and Tilbury Gazette advertised Vange Water sold in all local chemists priced at 2s 3d a bottle.
Two more, but unsuccessful, wells were sunk between 1900 and 1923, but Number 5 was successful and an elaborate structure was designed, made of brick and rendered, with a domed roof which was built over the well head as a feature, the remains of which can be seen today.
The Vange Water Co Ltd ceased trading possibly in late 1924. It is believed this was due to suspected contamination of the water by drainage from a sanatorium for tuberculosis treatment of young people mainly from the London area and sited higher up the hillside.
Slightly spooky 1st pic
Roof dome supports
As always more pics in my album on PB, thanks for looking.
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