THE ANNIS & GEORGE BILLS “HORSE-TROUGH” STORY
🔹 Over 700 of these Horse-Troughs were provided free of charge for the welfare of Australia’s working horses and at least 300 of them still exist… this is part of the story behind them.
🔹 The troughs were financed by a trust fund established through the will of George Bills… each one carries his name and that of his wife Annis. George and Annis were animal lovers who despaired at the lack of facilities available to workhorses. Following George’s death in 1927, around ₤75,000 (a huge amount of money) was set aside to…
“..construct, erect and pay for horse troughs wherever such horse troughs are desirable for the relief of horses and other animals”. Over 700 were installed, mostly in Victoria and NSW.
🔹 The early troughs were manufactured in Hawthorn Victoria by J.B. Phillips. They were pre-cast concrete with a curved pediment containing the inscription “Donated by Annis & George Bills Australia”. Manufacture subsequently moved to ‘Rocla’ who produced troughs to the same design. By the end of WW2, demand declined and production ceased.
🔹 Aside from the horse troughs, the Bills Trust was involved with other animal welfare projects including the establishment of the George Bills RSPCA Rescue Centre at Burwood East, Victoria which opened in 1964.
Thankyou, Annis and George Bills. Photo of George below.