George would like to hear from interested people who share a interest in the story of the Bills troughs and welcomes inquiries at email@example.com
Please send me a photo of troughs you have seen in your travel’s .
Best Wishes George G
The Bills Water Trough
In the 1950’s this sturdily built water trough was removed from its original site in Stevenson Street not far from this position.
It was then used on a farm at Murchison East until the owner at that time, Doug McKinley, donated it back to the town. The Murchison and District Historical Society Inc. carried out the work of transporting and installing it on this site in 1988.
It bears the inscription: Donated by Annis and George Bills, Australia.
British born George was one of a family of fourteen children. With some of his brothers he emigrated to Victoria in 1873, and married Annis Swarm in 1885, and died at the age of 68 in 1927. During his lifetime he developed a highly profitable business making spring wire bed underlays, which supported horsehair, straw or kapok filled mattresses.
Annis predeceased George by several years, and as they had no children, he wrote his will, leaving the sum of £70,000 (equivalent to $2.5 Mil.) in trust for the welfare of animals. The fund has been administered through the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), which at the time, ran the Tally Ho Rest Home for pets and the Animal Rescue Centre in Burwood, Victoria.
The most conspicuous visible memorial to his legacy was to pay for the manufacture and installation of 7000 horse drinking troughs throughout the world, 500 of which were in Australia. Some incorporated a bowl for the dogs and a tap for the boss. These were made at the Rocla Pipe Co. in Hawthorn, Victoria.
The growth in motor transport in the 1950’s quickly made the troughs obsolete; however the Trust continues to provide a range of benefits to animals through the R.S.P.C.A.
Murchison & District Historical Society Inc. 2014