Should it stay or should it go?

“Proud Symbol or Rusting Eyesore?”

“The Silver Ball – should it stay or should it go?”

The Fletcher Jones Water Tower, known locally as the Silver Ball, was state heritage listed along with other aspects of the FJ Pleasant Hill site in August 2006.  It was decommissioned in December 2005 when the Fletcher Jones Factory and operations in Warrnambool closed down. People like it for different reasons – it’s a landmark you can set directions by and a distinctive feature of the skyline that is unique to Warrnambool.   It’s a strange, war of the worlds like piece of public art on the horizon and it is a link to the Fletcher Jones story and heritage.

In the course of the campaign to bring attention to its deteriorating state from 2012-2014, the local paper and radio station ran polls and each time larger numbers of people said they reckoned the ball was an icon for Warrnambool and that it should stay. We realised that all sorts of people (including lots who perhaps normally don’t participate in debates about heritage) were engaged and expressing their love for the Silver Ball.  We also found that some people cared little for it and reckoned it should come down, as it no longer served its original purpose as a water tower.  

Kylie Gaston, campaigning to save the Silver Ball during councillor election campaigns in 2012.  Kylie went on the win a seat on councillor and to become Mayor of Warrnambool in 2015.  Photo:Warrnambool Standard
The Silver Ball in need of repair.  Photo: Rhonda McDonell
Dean Montgomery at a community Spring picnic in the gardens held not long after he bought the site in 2014 and saved it from demolition.  Photo: Warrnambool Standard
Participate

Become a Part of the Fletcher Jones Story.

If you would like to share images, stories or anecdotes about Fletcher Jones, the man or the business, please contact the Project Coordinator, Julie Eagles, through this website or contact via the Save the Silver Ball and Fletcher’s Gardens Facebook Page.  

We'd also love your feedback about our website and your favourite stories.  You can also let us know if you think we've got anything wrong, misspelt or left out.