Hartest gets its village pump back on Queen’s birthday

Jo Pask stands next to Terry Waite as he declares the pump open
Jo Pask stands next to Terry Waite as he declares the pump open
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They had an unusual unveiling for the Queen’s 90th birthday weekend at Hartest – a village pump on The Green.

It takes Hartest back to the days when the Queen was still Princess Elizabeth and mains water had still not come to the village, so its baker took a bowser to the pump for water for each day’s baking.

Two of the village's oldest residents Pat and Pat Tebbit with the pump ANL-161206-103044009

Two of the village's oldest residents Pat and Pat Tebbit with the pump ANL-161206-103044009

Villager Jo Pask has a pictures of her uncle the baker with his bowser and of herself as a child by the pump and had long cherished the idea of reinstalling a pump on the green.

Jo explained: “The pump was taken away when mains water came to the village, probably in the early 1950s.

“I belong to the village and always had a whim to put it back again.”

So, with the support of Hartest Parish Council, she checked you did not need planning permission for it – which you don’t - though they have to put up a sign saying it is not for drinking or the water quality would have to be regularly tested.

The breakthrough came when someone gave Jo a vintage pump for her birthday last year. She has discovered it was made in Wolverhampton in the late 1800s.

Several companies have helped for free or at low cost, Including Aquablast and Martin Childs, from Sudbury, who restored the pump to working order, sandblasted and powder coated it, Hartest builders Konrath and Goode did the groundworks over a well dug in the 1910s.

The finished pump was unveiled on Saturday by villager Terry Waite, the Beruit hostage, as part of Hartest’s Queen’s Birthday event, which also included a flower festival and chance to go up the church tower.

Then the village children made good use of the pump by having a wet-sponge fight.