Polly put the kettle on and we’ll all have tea... or beer at Soberton

Water from Chichester for use at a Soberton pub.
Water from Chichester for use at a Soberton pub.

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If it was not for the kettle there would be nothing unusual about the picture on the right.

The photo comes from The News archive and was taken in ‘a public house at Soberton’.

The woman, possibly the landlady, might fancy something stronger than a cuppa.

However, the sketchy details scrawled on the photo’s reverse indicate that she was drawing water. Indeed, the word is daubed on the barrel.

The cask appears to have come from old Chichester brewers Henty and if those numbers etched on the front equate to the date, then we are in June 1902.

A little research throws up the fact that a pumping station was opened at Soberton in 1907.

Did this mean that until then the village’s water had to be transported all the way from Chichester? I think that unlikely, but can anyone throw any light on it?

Apparently, the 36-gallon cask was a week’s supply.