This delightful picture brings back a phase of Nottingham's history which has long passed away, for the representation of the old water works buildings at the northern end of Trent Bridge calls to mind the time when the water of the Trent was a mainstay of Nottingham's water supply. These buildings were acquired by the Corporation about the year 1880, and immediately demolished.

In our modern days when water is so plentifully supplied to each one of us, one hardly realises the difficulty, in this respect, under which our forefathers existed. At a very early date, 1696 to be precise, Nottingham was supplied with water from the river Leen, and a water engine was established on its banks at the foot of the Castle Rock, which pumped water up to a reservoir in Postern Street, whose site is now occupied by a portion of the General Hospital. This reservoir was quite small, and only supplied a portion of the town; there were various other sources of supply, such as a well on Zion Hill, and another one almost half way up Derby Road, near where the 'Hand and Heart' now stands. In addition to this, there were twenty-two other public wells scattered throughout the town, some of which were fitted with pumps. These different wells had separate reputations for producing water; some of them were considered better than others for making tea, while others were considered more efficacious than their neighbours for washing purposes. Sometimes people would make quite considerable journeys to obtain water from the pump of their choice.

Almost within living memory large barrels of water used to be drawn about the town, from which water was purchased at the rate of a halfpenny per bucket. Fortunately, all that has passed away, and Nottingham now has a wonderfully copious supply of most excellent water.

The site of the old water works is now occupied by the block of buildings which includes the Town Arms Hotel on the north western side of Trent Bridge.