Stanhope Bills Water trough

My hobby for over the past 30 years has been collecting photos and locations of where the water troughs donated by George and Annis Bills can still be seen . My list is about 350 now and always welcome people to sending me a photo of troughs.

Here is a short history and photos of some located near Stanhope. A map shows with red dots Victorian towns who have a Bill trough located there.

Always willing to pass on any information i have collected and to share for anyone seeking more can in box me at

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Water troughs stolen in the UK

Since September 2019 troughs have been reported taken from areas in south London and Kent: Penge, Bell Green, Downham, Chislehurst, Coombe Lane and Widmore Green.

According to Kent Police, the latest theft was a 8ft x 2ft (2.4m x 61cm) trough taken between 3-6am on January 5 from the A26 London Road in Southborough, near Tunbridge Wells.

Like most municipal animal troughs it is inscribed with the name of a donor, in this case the name of Sir David L Salomons with the date 1894.

Photos from Google street view June 2019

A second trough was reported stolen from Eridge Road in Tunbridge Wells, but Kent Police has not yet logged its disappearance. It is inscribed George and Annis Bills – Australia to one side, and to the end Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association (MDFCTA).

Historian Alan Underwood has catalogued and created a database of many of the MDFCTA community troughs and has been helping to collate information about these thefts.

He said: “I first started researching the MDFCTA’s fountains and troughs about 15 years ago.

“I came across the remains of five that had been stolen in London over a period of about five years previously.

“To my best knowledge, in the intervening 15 or so years before September 2019, only one further trough (in Woolwich) has disappeared.

“What has triggered the current spate of thefts?”

Anyone with information on any of the thefts should call the police on 101.Regarding the Penge theft, use the police crime reference number 3320094/19, for Chislehurst use the number 3320566/19 and for Coombe Lane it is 3838235/19.

Regarding the Tunbridge Wells troughs, contact Kent Police on 01622 604100, quoting reference 5-0425.

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Williamstown Water Troughs

Williamstown has two Bills water troughs in the Hobson Bay Council and both have recently received much need TLC done by Grimwades. one located in it original location sine about 1930 in front of the Morning Star hotel and the other one  which was in Nelson place in front of the Yacht Club was restored  and relocated in to Commonwealth Reserve.  Photos shows the repairs being done to these BHTs Well done to the Hobson Bay Council for preserving these two historical troughs for future generations to view


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Bangalee NSW Water trough

Just had some update photos sent to me for the Bangalee NSW trough where it located on Illaroo Road . Please send me any new photos you have ./ Keep smiling George

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Historical water troughs

Punch 19

Near Seymour there are two very large Historical water troughs they are in a very well preserved state and must be over 100 years old. Beside the troughs, mounted on a big boulder is a plaque which has engraved on it.

Top R H corner is a horse head and on the L H Side is a Slouch hat with Emu Plumes.

These troughs are dedicated to the Memory of the horses and soldiers who tented them while camped in the Seymour area during their service to the nation in time of war.

1914 –1918 to 1939— 1945.

 Dedicated on 21st June 1982.


When you visit this quiet site you can pause and reflex on the scene from many years ago when Solders from the Light Horse Brigades milled around to enable their trusty Steeds to relieve their thirst.

RIP all the light horse soldiers and their mounts.

 We will remember them.

George Gemmill Stanhope RSL Sub Branch.


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Bills troughs with Plaques

Just had a holiday and passed through these towns and good to see the BHTs are being looked after  plaques explaining the George Bills Story . The Orbost BHT is still in the Shire Yard in Shackleton street and have been told the Historical Society is working to have it restored and relocated at the Old Slab Hut in the Main Street.

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Bills Water Troughs

Posting some old photos of working horses we all once relied on horses for travel and delivery of good . It was George Bills wisdom that when he passed away he arranged for Water troughs to be supplied free of charge to let the horse have a drink of nice clean water .

many of these water trough can still be seen today and if you see any of them .I would appreciate if you could send me a photo to


Enjoy the photos George Gemmill

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Hunters Hill NSW

Thanks to Barry and Lyn for sending me a latest photo of the Bills trough which is located in Park Rd near Princess Street Hunters Hill NSW. The photos i had were taken back in 2004 so you can see the changes for yourself. The trough appears to be still in good condition and should survive for many more years

Good to be able to see the BHT is still there and being looked after with some TLC given to it by someone..

If any readers sight BHTs in their travel please spare the time a send me a photos of it. To

Best Wishes and safe travelling in 2020 George Gemmill

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Moonee Ponds Court House


This is my last post for 2019 and has some welcome news.

 The Essendon Historical Society are now back in their home at the restored Moonee Ponds Court House . You will remember that the court house was badly damaged by fire back in 2016 and some photos to show the extent of the damage.

 While these major restoration work were being carried out the Bills water Trough also received some TLC from Grimwade’s  Melb. Uni Grimwade Centre conservationists and was relocated into a more prominent place it now make a feature item in the garden in front of the Museum . John Ricketts made 3 new supports that the BHT is now mounted on, and Julie Scott has researched and supplied the information which is shown on the Plaque beside the BHT .

For more information, please visit:

..Congratulations to everyone involved in the restoration works as many voluntary hours of labour over 3½ years was spent to restore the building and re-house the collection of photos and records.


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Charlton Bills Trough

The Bills water trough in Charlton is different to the other ones we are see the most, as it would have been funded by the Bills Trust, and had been made by a local builder in 1931. and had a brass plaque Annis and George Bills Australia. on one end.

It is located at the Rear of  Traffic Education Centre in Kaye Street

Thanks David J for sending me this  photo 2019.

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