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Friday, 3 June 2016

Water wheels, water works



Water Wheels

According to Wikipedia, water wheels convert the energy of free-flowing water into power. I'm sure I've seen quite a few of them in my travels, but a search of my albums has only revealed photographs of two of them. The first photograph was taken in Denmark in 2011, at Den Gamle By in the Old Town of Arrhus, Denmark. Den Gamle By is a kind of open air museum in which all the buildings have been transported from other parts of Denmark.  I highly recommend visiting it if you are going to Denmark and are interested in the history of the country.



Surprisingly enough the following two photographs come from our most recent trip, from which we have just returned a couple of weeks ago, and were taken at the Chateau de Fougeres, where there is a row of four very impressive water wheels.






And Water Works

Back in January 1994 we visited my cousin Linley and her then husband Chris on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand and had a look over their newly established water activity amusement park. I feel sure I took photographs of some of the water features but if so I must not have kept them, so this brochure is all I can find.





It was early days when we visited, but I believe Chris still runs the Waterworks, and that they have become a popular tourist attraction in the area. Here is a photograph from the Waterworks Facebook site and you can read more about the park here



 I must admit tend to prefer to see natural creations when visiting an area, unless of course history is involved. The nearby Coromandel coastline has much to offer in the way of natural wonders,some of which are referred to on the map above.  At Hot Water Beach for example, 
 you can sit in the sand and dig out a hole that quickly fills with warm water from underground thermal springs. You just need to be careful not to let your pool get too hot!


There's one other water sculpture involving a water wheel that I've walked past many times, as we used to live in a nearby suburb and one of our sons currently lives in a unit just down the road from it.



The Hornsby Water Clock or fountain as it is more commonly known, is a substantial and unique structure, located in the pedestrian plaza of the shopping centre in Hornsby New South Wales and is a popular meeting place for locals. You can see a water wheel on the right hand side.  It was erected in 1993 at a cost of $1,000.000 and has always been rather controversial.

I must confess I always struggled to work out how to tell the time from the clock, despite there being a number of surrounding plaques explaining its operation, and apparently the clock aspect has never worked very well or for very long periods of time.I took the above photograph recently but am not sure whether the clock part was working at the time or not.  You can read more here in this Daily Telegraph article published last year about the fountain clock's troubled history and the repair campaign launched by its creator Victor Cusack. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-03/hornsby-water-clock-allowed-to-fall-into-disrepair/6825584 . I don't know whether or not any progress has been made on the repairs.

To see more water wheels and water works, go to Sepia Saturday #333




12 comments:

  1. That's quite a flow of water at the Chateau de Fougeres. When the free-flowing gate is closed and the other opened, those wheels must fly around! Or do they still operate?

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    1. Water was flowing over the wheels but no, I don't think they are really in operation these days.

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  2. The first pictures really capture the power of water don’t they? The water clock reminds me of the Roland Emmet clock in my home city of Nottingham.

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    1. That Emmet clock does look similar, and seems to have had similar problems with its operation too. Maybe Victor Cusack had been to Nottingham and got the idea for his design there.

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  3. I think the water clock looks interesting and worth the effort to keep it running. A nice riff on the theme this week.

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  4. I grew up inland, in the high desert area of Oregon, so water wheels were not much known in our area. What a delight it would have been to walk by rushing water, spinning water wheels, and --- and a clock?
    Things us inland folks dinna know about.

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  5. That clock is amazing, but I can see where it might stir up the locals!

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  6. I could see hanging out at the water clock for hours and seeing something new in it each time I looked! And the pink "thing" on the Waterworks wheel at the top is intriguing…. wonder what that is?

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    1. I think it might be a child's pink plastic potty, turned on its end and nailed on to a spoke of the wheel so it scoops up water like the buckets do. Guess it's just showing how you can improvise with whatever is to hand :-)

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  7. You've captured some great waterwheels here. I'd never seen them in tandem before, but of course that just shows there are many things I haven't yet seen in this lifetime!

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  8. Recently many people around the world have tragically learned the power of water. Too much water and your house is swept away. Too little and the garden withers up. Controlling it has always been mankind's challenge.

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  9. I've never seen water wheels in a row before, they make the buiding look like a giant locomotive!

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