The story of the abandoned Shire Oak Reservoir is a recurrent theme from the very earliest days of the Brownhills Blog. It fascinated me for years, and one of my earliest obsessions was the discovery of it’s history. This is documented over a number of posts, starting with this one. In 2009, the reservoir was razed, and Shire Oak Close built on the site soon after.
Chris Pattison of the South Staffordshire Water Archives is the historian who’s contributed so much to recent posts here by Ian Pell, and helped Dave Moore in his urgent work. A couple of weeks ago, Chris dug out some great images of Shire Oak Reservoir before a doomed attempt to cure it’s leaks and put a roof on it had commenced.
Chris has now found some more fascinating 1924 shots of the work to create the roof and reseal the walls an floor. This operation failed, however, and the reservoir spent most of the subsequent 90 years empty and derelict, until it’s demolition.
One of the most interesting things is the building technology isn’t too different to that of today, and that the Shire Oak Brewery is clearly visible. This will be of interest to many people, not least local historian Clive Roberts who’s been researching the pub for an upcoming book.
My immense and sincere thanks go out to Chris and South Staffordshire Water, and their archives. This blog stands or falls on the quality of the material we can find. Without images of such stunning quality and unusual interest, the whole of Brownhills history would be the poorer. The steps Chris has taken to share these with us cannot, and must not be underestimated.
Thanks, Chris. Wonderful.