The Bednall Archive
Last updated: 29/06/2007
The picture shows a Nottingham City Water Department uniform cap badge that belonged to Samuel Edward Bednall, one of their water inspectors in the 1950s-60s. Sam Bednall joined the Water Department in 1924 and until 1951, worked on the laying and repair of pipes, the building or reservoirs and other activities associated with the construction, running and maintenance of water supply systems. One of the reservoirs whose construction he was involved in was that at Gotham, a village to the South of the city. One unusual task occurred just after the 2nd World War when a training plane with two polish pilots on board crashed into the Nuthall Road at Whitemoor in the city, killing both pilots and burying itself 9 or 10 feet deep. On being told about it, Sam Bednall walked down to the site and made his way through the crowd to the edge of the hole. Once there he was asked to go into the whole to see if the water main had been damaged, which he did. In 1951 he applied for and obtained the post of Water Inspector with the Water Department and continued to carry out this work until ill health forced him to retire in 1963.
His work as a Water Inspector was principally concerned with preventing water wastage and involved cycling round the estate on which he lived to sort out householders' water supply problems (leaks, etc.), patrolling to enforce bans on the use of hosepipes, etc., in times of drought, and the nocturnal detection of mains leaks. Occasionally, he was asked to carry out a task that called upon his previous experience as a ganger, including the inspection of joint quality during the laying of a very large water main down running down Corporation Oaks, Nottingham from the reservoir (built in 1864) at the top of that road.
When Sam retired, he still had two full sets of uniforms but this cap badge and one waistcoat button is all that now remains.
See also: Records of the City of Nottingham Water Department, and other material from the Hucknall Road Office of Severn Trent Water Authority, 1852-1978.
AWBednall, Macclesfield 2004-2007