30 January 2017 - 13:18, by Paul Goad
, in Seaton Spring
The Waterworks at Seaton is integral to our heritage with the site having been used to draw quality rock filtered drinking water for the local community for over 110 years. This year I plan to write four blogs about the site’s history, its link to the Bulmer family who have ensured that our pure water has continued to be available throughout the North East and also about the geology of the limestone aquifer from which this wonderful natural resource is drawn.
On the anniversary of his passing this series starts with a brief history of William R Bulmer MBE (6th August 1915 - 30th January 2001). ‘Will’ as he was known was born during the Great War at Stotfold Farm located on the hill overlooking the North Sea adjacent to our site. The 1920’s was a tough time for farming with the country wrestling with a depression. Therefore on leaving Ryhope Grammar School and despite wanting to farm, Will found work in the local mines as a trainee electrician. With his love of the outdoors he found it difficult to adjust to life underground and eventually found work as an insurance broker in Newcastle.
In 1938 Will was able to return to his love of farming working alongside his father, Herbert. When Herbert passed away in 1946 Will took over the farm tenancy and continued the line of what would eventually be four generations of Bulmers who farmed the East Durham countryside around The Waterworks. He quickly looked at improving efficiencies and was instrumental in many changes on the farm.
He said that he had no intention of walking behind horses for the rest of his life, insisting that tractors were the future of farming, buying his first Standard Fordson in 1939.