My Favourite Photos


I have been collection information on the Bills Troughs for over 30 years and i now have a location list and photos of BHTs from over 300 different sites most in Victoria and NSW, i also have  some from the UK..

.  I would like to share   my favourite photo and story that was sent to me over 10 years ago. This article and photo appeared in the Melbourne Herald Sun newspaper in the column Black and White. If you have any old photos please share them with me

. Send them to


This Bills horse trough was once located on the West side of Auburn Road between Riversdale Rd and Leslie Street Auburn Vic. The story behind this photo which was taken on a hot day in January 1940. The mother of these two girls, Felicity and Wendy  was expect another baby,  and was having a lie down the  girls were allowed to play in the backyard with the hose dribbling hence their  woollen bathers. They then decided to go for a swim and just down the street was the Bills Horse Trough.  Felicity put Wendy in the pusher {note the handle on the RH side of photo} They were enjoying their dip when the rubbish man came along and told them to go home as they would get sick and he was wanting to water his horse. They went home and their mother was none the wiser, till after the war ended and the lady from the milk bar opposite the trough gave Mum this photo.

 Seems like lot of children enjoyed share the troughs with the  horses.


Take care and best wishes George Gemmill.

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New Sign at the Sebastopal Bills Water Trough


Great to see such a nice sign telling the George and Annis Bills Story .





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Plaques on Troughs.

In my travels collection information on Bills Water Troughs i have noticed many troughs have had plaques installed, all telling the story about George Bills. Each tell the same story but in different ways.

 i would like to share some of them with you in this blog.

Hope you enjoy the photos, and please if you happen to be passing by a BHT please send me a photo of it to

I have just updated my list of locations and added some more new finds to it.

If you would like a copy of the new list just send me a email and it will be my pleasure to share the list with you.

.Each would be very welcome. George Gemmill

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The test Of Time

Welcome to this site i celebrated my 80th Birthday in January and then realise most of the Bills Horse troughs would be much the same age.


In my travels have seen many troughs in need of some tender loving care.

Here is some photo examples of them standing the test of time.

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Bills Water troughs


Annis and George Bills were philanthropists who were greatly concerned about the welfare of horses and other animals. When George died in December 1927, in his will he directed a trust be set up to supply Horse troughs free of charge where they were needed.

The horse troughs, were  mass produced and distributed mainly across NSW and Victoria.

Funds were also made available to erect drinking facilities which were of a different design.

Melbourne had many thousands of working horses and they helped shape Melbourne.

The low bridges over the Yarra which were to eventually block any serious shipping out of the city were created to accommodate the horses pulling heavy loads that would not have been able to negotiate the steep incline of a high arched bridge.

A working horse needs over 60 litres of water per day and in summer the horses were often driven many hard miles between available drinks.

Some early photos of how horse transport was used are included.

Note the number of carts waiting to be loaded and unloaded at the Victoria market.

Anyone interested in wanting more information are welcome to contact me at email

vic-markethoffmanbutchers-cartbakers-cartRushworth Easter 09 008Eight Horse Team

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Old Hotels and Bills troughs

Season greeting to all my BHT friends who reads this hope you and your family all have a healthy and prosperous 2107.

Just thought i would list some troughs which are located near old Hotels. They would have been welcome sights for both Horses and their owners on hot days.

George welcomes your photos of troughs please send them in to the email address

George will be 80 next months and does not do the travelling he used to be able to do so he welcome your photos to keep his collection up to date..

Photos are from


Avenal . Harvest and Home Hotel

Bendigo I== One tree Hill Hotel.

Strathdale – Bull and Mouth Hotel . Now a medical centre

Williamstown == Morning Star Hotel.

Bacchus Marsh == Royal Hotel

Wallan East,  Raywood,  Marong,  Avoca,  Pitt Town Hotel NSW  and Devonish.

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Collingwood Childrens Farm




Recent visit to the Farm where there is 2 Bills water troughs which are being well looked after, photos were taken back in 2004 .

Plaque from the Kilmore Bills Trough.

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