Dave Fellows contacted me at the weekend with a great question relating to Chasewater. Dave is a long time reader of The Brownhills Blog and is the creator and curator of the wonderful local history site Brownhills Past. When I started this blog, there were only three local history sites for Brownhills online, and Dave’s work was a source of information and an inspiration to me. He’s working on a new site, and mailed me this question:
Am in the process of putting together a new Brownhills Past website. I came across these two images while going through my old files (sorry, pretty poor scans, think the originals weren’t that good), of the old pump house on Chasewater dam wall.
It looks like it was quite an impressive stucture, and must have had a decent sized pump engine in there (Watt type maybe?).
I can’t find any info on when it was demolished, (built about 1850, same time as the valve house?) and was wondering, that if you had a chance sometime, maybe you could use them on your site, as there’s a wealth of local knowledge out there, and somebody may be able to help.
Any more photos would be great too!
The valve house would surely have dated from the construction of the dam, which would be around 1800, since it controls the culvert from the reservoir bed to the canal (originally just a brook or channel to the top of Ogley Locks if I remember correctly). That valve system would have to have been in place to stop the reservoir just draining out – perhaps the house was rebuilt at the later date. That’s an interesting point. Graham Evans’ history of Chasewater available from the Chasewater Wildlife Group’s homepage doesn’t seem to throw much light on the engine, either.
I seem to recall reading somewhere that the pump was a copy of a better design and was rarely effective, but I could be imagining that. I can certainly recall a discussion about it. Can any of the readers enlighten me, please?
I wish Dave all the best with his new site and please, if you have any information, do comment here, or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.