Słupsk water tower. Going, going, gone… Photo Michal Sikora
(Click on the picture to see a sequence of brilliant photographs of the demolition on the sikorowe przypadki blog.)
Another Polish railway water tower has been demolished. Poles don’t rate their industrial buildings very highly. Little priority is given to preserving the built environment unless the building is a church or a palace of national importance. So water towers come a very low way down the pecking order.
There is no Railway Heritage Committee1 or Railway Heritage Trust2 in Poland and no list of the nation’s ‘core’ railway heritage. The legal protection enjoyed by buildings such as Slupsk water tower depends on the Wojewodski Konserwator Zabytkow – the official in each province charged with ‘listing’ historic monuments.
The two Slupsk water towers were not listed. When an application for listing was lodged with him, the Konserwator Zabytkow had argued that the water towers were only important in a wider context – that of Slupsk loco depot. As that had already been demolished, the water towers merited no protection. The second water tower is due to be demolished next week.
BRAINWAVE! British railway enthusiasts looking to escape spiralling price inflation in the UK and looking for an inexpensive and unusual home in Poland close to a railway need look no further than Poland’s rapidly diminishing stock of water towers!
(1) A statutory body operating under the authority of the Railway Heritage Act 1996 as amended by the Railways Act 2005. It has the function of ‘designating’ records and artefacts still within the ownership of the post-British Rail (BR) industry which are historically significant and should be permanently preserved.
(2) An independent registered company limited by guarantee. It is sponsored by Network Rail and BRB (Residuary) Ltd. The Trust’s role is to support with grants the conservation and restoration of historic railway buildings and structures in the ownership of the Trust’s sponsors.
Freddie Mercury and Queen – Another one bites the dust