Stirling Moss

I’ve a puzzler for readers of The Brownhills Blog. It’s more of a clarification, really. Top local history ferret [Howmuch?] has been rootling throughout he archives again, and came up with this snippet from the Walsall Observer. I’ve transcribed it as the quality of the scan was a bit middling.

Brownhills Urban District Council

September 5th, 1908

Proposed New Pumping Plant at the Moss Pits

The surveyor in his report stated that estimates of the cost of repairs to the pumps at the Moss Pits had been presented, and he asked council to take into immediate consideration the question of substituting a gas suction plant in lieu of the present oil engines, which were undoubtedly under their work and a continual source of trouble and costly in repairs.  – In reply to Mr. Hill, the surveyor said the present engines were of five brake horse power. – Mr. Hill expressed the opinion that engines of at least 12 horse power were required. – Mr. Roberts proposed that the surveyor be directed to make enquiries as to the cost of putting down a suction gas plant, and this was seconded and agreed to.

My question is simple: where on earth were The Moss Pits? The size of the pumps mentioned is such that this is a surface water pump, I feel. Is this the one at Clayhanger, or is it the then new sewage works between Clayhanger and Bullings Heath? I’m inclined to think it’s on The Spot – where Clayhanger Common is now – due to the following two photos in ‘Memories of Old Brownhills’ by Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington. I know they say that it was built in 1921, but that may have been a replacement.

If not, where was it?

This pump was never too successful, and Clayhanger flooded right up until the 1960’s. Picture from ‘Memories of Old Brownhills’ by Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington.

This isn’t a huge engine, and I’m interested in the description of the gas plant considering the news article found by Howmuch?.Picture from ‘Memories of Old Brownhills’ by Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington.

Whilst mooching for stuff in the online archives – which didn’t appear to be conclusive, I came upon this gem concerning the same installation. It seems vandalism is nothing new.

Lichfield Mercury, Friday 20th April 1900.

So, where was it?

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7 Responses to Stirling Moss

  1. David Oakley says:

    Hi Bob,
    I think the Moss Pits mentioned lay between Shelfield and Pelsall on Mill Road, near Shelfield Mill.

  2. Jim says:

    There is moss farm on the turf island but maybe that isn’t relevant I would say however that throwing stones at windows in my experience is best done from a high vantage point with an easy escape route such as an elevated section of canal towpath.

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  4. Pedro says:

    Around 1899 there was a Moss Pits farm at Shelfield.

    17th of March 1899 LM reports from the BUDC…

    Several applications were received from persons desiring to be appointed as Engineer at the Pumping Station. Mr Hodgkin’s moved that consideration of the matter be deferred for a fortnight.

    (Later session)…..Thomas Parkes, of Heath End, Pelsall, was appointed engineer at the Moss Pits Pumping Sctation at a salary of 30 shillings per week subject to one months notice…

    …complaint about pollution of a brook course in Shelfield, and also at Moss Pits…as regarding Moss Pits the houses had not yet been connected (to sewage) but the needed notices ha been issued…

    • Pedro says:

      The complaint was from solicitors to the Earp’s Trustees, and there was a Earp House at the crossroads near the Four Crosses

      • Pedro says:

        BUDC Sep 1907

        As the Board understand it, it is only practicable under existing circumstances to lift to the Clayhanger Farm one half of the present dry weather flow of sewage from the low-lying portion of the district, that is, 54,000 gallons, and if that is the case, and the system of lifting part of the sewage to the Clayhanger is to be continued, Disposal works will have to be provided at the Moss Pits for the treatment of 5 1/2 times the dry weather flow….

        …Looking, however, to the expense involved in pumping and superintending the duplicate arrangements contemplated, it would seem to be a matter for the consideration of the Council, whether in the circumstances it would be preferable to deal with the whole of the sewage up to 6 times the dry weather flow in the low level area at Moss Pits.

  5. Alfie Bits says:

    The mosspits was a row of terraced houses which were on the roadside on the bend opposite the old mill farmhouse where some of the old buildings were used by the graftonheater company where they manufactured electric fires etc in the 1950,s and 1960,s

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