We are very fortunate to have four water pumps in the Woodford area. Take a look the next time you are out & about at:
Johnston Road, near the old Post Office sorting office.
High Road, near Churchill Statue.
Chigwell Road, near M11bridge. Chigwell Road, near recycling depot.
Woodford Green Amenity Group – pump information
The water pump at Johnston pond was restored prior to a ‘topping out’ ceremony that took place on 5th February 1991. The renovation of the pump involved making a new top replacing the pump handle and repainting.
The pump at Chigwell Road alongside Wynn Brook was the subject of a work day that commenced in April 1991 when all the undergrowth was cleared away to expose the grey pump from which the top was missing. Len Howes, a member of the Woodford Green Amenity Group worked to provide a new top as he had for the Johnston Pond Pump. The pump was repainted and restored.
The pump at the Roses opposite Sir Winston Churchill’s statue received similar treatment.
The pump at Woodford Bridge was restored at the invitation of Peter Lawrence (Chairman Woodford Historical Society) with Len Howes again making a new top and was similarly repainted.
Three of the pumps are annually cleaned and repainted when needed by the Woodford Green Amenity Group. Additionally, they repaint the railings around the Johnston pond.
Further detail provided by Gordon Brown:
In 1990 Gordon Brown became aware that the 19th century Woodford parish water pump in Johnston Road, Woodford, was neglected, unloved, devoid of it’s top and handle, Gordon failing to trace an owner and fearing for its future cleared the overhanging, obscuring willow branches de-rusted and painted the pump.
Upon taking the chair of the Woodford Green Amenity Group, Gordon proposed that the total restoration of the pump be adopted as one of the groups projects and the blacksmith Peter Macer of Hobbs Cross farm was commissioned to forge a new handle faithful to the original, being based upon a 1910 Reg Fowkes photograph.
The provision of a new top presented a financial problem in that the lowest quote for one made from steel was a minimum of £500 with no guarantee. Fortunately one of the members, Len Howes a manufacturing jeweller, offered to attempt to construct a mould and cast one from concrete, it was totally successful! A topping out ceremony sponsored by Trust House Forte from the lamented Roebuck Hotel was held.
Two other Woodford parish-pumps survive today. One is on the edge of the forest Woodford Green opposite the Churchill statue, the other is beside the Chigwell Road between Wansford Road and Broadmead Road these have been restored in a similar manner, assisted by a generous donation by the Earl of Stradbroke and are annually cleaned and repainted by the Woodford Green Amenity Group.
A further pump located at Woodford Bridge was restored at the instigation of Peter Lawrence (Chairman Woodford Historical Society) with Len Howes again making a new top.