A FORMER councillor says the demolition of an iconic Warrington structure inspired his first novel.

Chris Vobe, from Culcheth, has released The Water Tower, which is now available from Amazon.

He says the demise of the Garnett Tower in Warrington was the inspiration for his novel The Water Tower, which at more then 500,000 words is being released in two volumes.

The debut author says the volumes combine to tell a powerful story that offers a candid exploration of the way we deal with loss.

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Chris added: “Picture the scene. There I was in the summer of 2018, standing in Palmyra Square – approaching the anniversary of my grandfather’s passing, in the wake of a friend’s untimely death, and talking on the phone to a colleague who was about to fly away to pastures new, and watching the Garnett Tower fall.


The water tower

The water tower


“That moment led me to start thinking about loss. How we deal with it, how we respond to it, and how it changes us.

“I wanted to explore the concept of ‘losing something’ not just through the prism of grief, but what it means to face losing your identity, or your sense of place. That was the genesis of the story which eventually became The Water Tower.

“As our principal cast come together to save their beloved Water Tower in the slipstream of their own private tragedies, they discover that Little Bassington is a village which harbours secrets. It’s down to a reluctant journalist and the woman with whom he falls unexpectedly in love to bring the deepest of those secrets to light - for better or for worse...”

The Water Tower’s primary setting is Little Bassington; a fictional village located somewhere between Hampshire and the South East coast. The story follows reluctant journalist Adam Chapman who returns home after the death of his great aunt to find a community on the cusp of war with a development company, whose plans to construct a sweeping estate of luxury homes would result in the demolition of the iconic Water Tower.

The campaign to save the Tower provokes a charged debate over issues of identity and heritage – while dark secrets long since consigned to memory are poised to come to light.

Despite not setting out to write a “political” novel, Chris, a former Labour councillor in Culcheth, reveals that readers can expect to find themselves immersed in the trials and tribulations of an “unconventional political romance', which serves as the 'beating heart' of the story.

He added: “At its heart, The Water Tower is a love story – but not necessarily in the traditional sense. It challenges us to confront who we love, how and why we love them – and crucially, through the eyes of two of the most important characters, the lengths we’re willing to go to for the one who means the most.”

The Water Tower (Volumes I and II) are available to buy now from Amazon or click here

Readers can follow The Water Tower’s dedicated Facebook page along with more than 1,600 others at facebook.com/TheWaterTowerNovel