The bearers are bending! –Nigel’s response when I told him my title. This concrete water tank is a sight to see, along one of our favourite NZ lockdown walking routes. I wonder how long the stand will continue to support its heavy burden? We look at it with a mix of horror and fascination! These photos taken by Nigel. Click on either photo to enlarge

Tapanui, West Otago, New Zealand

Text by Liz, photos by Nigel; Exploring Colour (2020)

8 thoughts on “Unbearable

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  1. I have seen concrete water tanks before, but never–in my active memory–an elevated one on a wooden structure! Are you aware of others? You should start a local contest with guesses for its eventual collapse.

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    1. Haha! I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a concrete tank perched on a wooden framework before and on checking with my OH he also had a good think – he hasn’t either. Something we’re sure to take notice of and photograph in the future if we do find another one but it would seem unlikely!

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  2. Very cool, Liz, I can see why you keep an eye on it! I wonder if there is water in it and am imagining the crash—and wanting to see it happen! I hope it stays in place for a long time.

    I love your title, and thought it apropos of the times and how we are seeing the bending and resiliency of so many things around us.

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  3. You could take bets on how long before it goes, it sure looks inevitable. Was this for watering cattle? (“Bearer” puzzled me, too, and then “load-bearing wall” clicked into place. I think this term from UK, NZ, etc. in U.S. we’d call “girder” when horizontal – – or if vertical, it’d be column, beam, support, etc.)

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    1. Here in NZ joists are horizontal parallel beams e.g. to support floors or ceilings. Studs are vertical supports whether in an external wall or internal partition. A bearer is supported on something (like piles) and carries something (like studs) – my take on hideous building ‘definitions’. Btw I’d be surprised even in the US if a ‘beam’ is a vertical member (?)


      1. Sorry, yes! And I’m not a carpenter, much less an architect, but you’re absolutely right, Beam = horizontal, column = vertical. The joists are the horizontal cross-pieces (no idea if that’s what pros call them) resting on the beams, that supports the floor. And I think that exhausts my stock of construction terms, thanks for bearing with me.

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