A Kenilworth woman was excited to find out that one of her ancestors was a significant part of the town’s history.
Kathryn Hopkinson was by chance talking to Sue Leach when she happened to mention that she understood her great-great grandfather was the caretaker of the water tower in Tainters Hill in the late 1800s.
She said: “Mrs Leach seemed quite interested in this, and asked if her husband Robin could get in touch, as he was researching Kenilworth Water Tower for his new book.
“Robin told me that my great-great grandfather Henry Griffiths was born in Burton-upon-Trent in 1858 and his father was a brewer. It seems that Henry had a fascination for moving fluids about and became an apprentice water engineer, at Piercy & Co in Birmingham.
“The Kenilworth Water Company wanted to supply the town’s homes with fresh water, and engaged Piercy & Co. The KWC was so impressed with Henry that they asked him to stay on in Kenilworth after he had completed this life changing work.
“Henry then married Sarah Ann Clarke in 1882 and they had 10 children. Henry was responsible for the supply of fresh water to Kenilworth for 50 years; he was also a volunteer fireman for Kenilworth, implementing his skills, knowledge and experience there too, being responsible for the pumping equipment.
“I was in awe. To think that I come from descendants who had made such a significant difference to the lives of Kenilworth and its people, their health and wellbeing.
“I have been a hairdresser in this town for many years and to think that every time a tap is turned on, it was because of Henry. I walked around for days feeling so proud. This man made a difference.
“Robin D Leach has done a wonderful job with his book, Kenilworth People & Places, Volume 2. He has produced this at his own expense too. Robin is passionate about Kenilworth, its buildings and its social history and it shows when you see him speak publicly.”
n Kenilworth People & Places Volume 2; by Robin D Leach, Rookfield Publications, £9.95.