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I'd never heard of Static Water Tanks until a query on a local (to me) FB page mentioned playing in the "Static".


These were built to provide the National Fire Service in WW2 with an emergency supply in case of enemy bombing . 


Was surprised to learn that in 1942 a Static Water Tank was built in the middle of Parliament St opposite the Elite !


This from the Nottm Guardian September 1942 :



"Site Criticised


SOME criticism has been provoked by the choice a site in the middle of Parliament-street,  Nottingham-opposite the Elite for the erection of
static water tank, the work on which is in progress.


The fear has been expressed that it may create a traffic problem, especially during peak hours, on one of the city's busiest thoroughfares, and it has been suggested a more suitable alternative site might have been found in the vicinity.

While it is recognised by the authorities that the miniature reservoir, which will rise above the street level, will not be helpful to traffic. a supply of water at that point is deemed to be necessary.

Civil Defence Work

It is also pointed out that the construction will allow room for two vehicles on either side-a vehicle will be able to pass one that is standing.

Coun. J. T. Edlin, chairman of the Works and Ways Committee of the City Council, told a "Journal" reporter that he was not surprised at the
criticism offered because he quite imagined there would be some, "Personally, as soon as I knew of the work being done. I anticipated something would be said about it," he went on. "But we have to carry out what we are instructed to do for civil defence."

"Very Necessary

He indicated that the work was not at the instigation of the  City Engineer's Department, but they carried out work for war purposes for other departments.


Although people might be disposed to comment on certain steps taken to protect our city there were road obstructions which were very necessary in the public interest. He referred to erections on sidewalks and street blocks which in normal times, they would say were dangerous but which were very necessary in wartime.


Councillor Edlin explained that water tanks were fixed in consultation with the City Engineer, but the Works and Ways Committee and its chairman had no say in their allocation.


For purposes of Civil Defence the City Engineer attended meetings of the Emergency Committee.


Not Normal Times


"We are not living in normaltimes," added Councillor Edlin.

With regard to other street difficulties, he said people had to be extremely careful in the black-out. especially now auxiliary water pipes on so
many of the roads. People frequently tripped over piping in the dark and citizens should exercise all care in crossing streets in the black-out."




Not in the article but reported throughout the country during the 1940s were literally dozens of reports of children unfortunately drowning in these "statics".

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Interesting David, doubt many of us knew that these existed.   What is good to see is a sensible, well-worded, grammatically correct piece of journalism too ……. something you don’t see these days, particularly in local newspapers. 

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I read somewhere that I can’t recall that the underground toilets in the market square were either originally made as underground water tanks in Wartime or existing toilets, repurposed as water tanks during the war years.

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There was indeed a static water tank situated where the slab square toilets were later constructed. It had a steel mesh cover over it and I remember looking for fish through it. There was one on the Forest park and ride site. When it was demolished it left a shallow pond full of sticklebacks.

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