T.W. Page Water Supply Engineers

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The founder and the start of the business

Thomas Walter William Page 1903-1978 was born in Ovington near Watton, in 1927 he married Ivy Hettie Jenness 1905-1988, Ivy was born in Rockland St Peter near Attleborough. Thomas was known as Walter and occasionally as Tom by all who knew him. Sometime after their marriage they moved to Spixworth as T.W. worked for Panks as a young man.

On the North Walsham Road/Catton Woodman cross roads he acquired a small premises next to the corner shop for a while where he founded the business in 1933 the same year as the birth of his first child Mary. Without any financial help he started up a mobile welding business after seeing an opportunity and worked hard to make a living from it. Farm workers in those days were purely labourers and not mechanics or engineers. So he took his mobile welding plant complete with its own power source around to farms carrying out repairs to machinery etc. this service continued right up to the1980`s. T.W. also turned to sourcing water supplies using hand driven Abyssinian type tubed boreholes.

The business moves to Hooper Lane

At some time in the early 1930`s T.W. bought the old Eldorado ice cream factory premises in Hooper Lane living in the old house adjoining it. When some new houses were built opposite he purchased one of them at 316 Sprowston Road where his two other children were born, Sylvia Page in 1936 and Frederick Handley Page in 1938.

Business continued during the war years of 1939-1945 but after hostilities business rapidly increased with the Ministry of Agriculture giving grants for new water supply schemes to help increase productivity for the farming industry. At times the firm had up to five drilling teams in action. Shallow wells were often unable to cope with demand so higher yielding wells were bored using percussion drilling rigs. As electricity was not always available in rural areas use was made of engine driven or wind pumps. Some drilling rigs were of the type used at present mounted to the back of a lorry, others were of the ”Pilcon” type which was towed behind a vehicle and stands like a tripod when in use.

T.W.Page became a limited company in 1963 after Frederick Page joined his father after serving his National Service and he is presently company chairman. Work continued to expand into water supply and treatment in the manufacturing industries, crop irrigation, water supply and soak away bore holes on new housing developments etc.

The move to new premises in Frettenham

In 1969 the company decided a move was in order and moved to their present site at 7 Buxton Road Frettenham.

Thomas and Ivy however still had a connection to Sprowston as 249 Wroxham Road was their home in their final years, Thomas (Walter) passed away in 1978 followed by Ivy in 1988.

As a company T.W.Page & Son Ltd has remained very much a family concern with Frederick Page as stated before being the company chairman with his daughter Victoria Hopkins born in 1973 being a director. Frederick`s sister Mary Gay started with the business at the age of 17 working full time well into her 70`s is also a director and still assists with the business for one day a week at the age of 84. Mary`s daughter Annabel Le Mesurier born 1965 is also a director of the company and was a mine of information regarding this project.