The Clayhanger subsidence and pumping station thread seems to have provoked much interest in the past week. There has been a great deal of reader comment, and I have further bits to add to the story in coming days.
One email I had did stand out, though, from Laurence Thacker. Laurence asked the following question, and I haven’t a clue as to the answer.
I have just been reading your latest piece ‘Fighting a losing battle’ and it reminded my of a story told by my grandfather about an involvement his relative had with the building of a similar works in Shelfield in the mid/late1800’s.
Having done a little searching I discovered you had already posted a piece about the site at Mosspits earlier.
The story we were told about the sewage works, tells of a local business entrepreneur who apparently paid to build the facility only to run into problems when a brick storage tank cracked and rendered the plant inoperable, although the exact details are not known, it was said to have led to the bankruptcy of the individual and the plant being left unusable.
We think the family involved, either as the sole owner or possibly an investor, was a Mr. Williams who was born and lived in Pelsall.
Unfortunately there is no documentary evidence to support this account so offer this only as a possible lead as to the origin of the site.
This is fascinating, and we still know relatively little about Mosspits, so I think you can guess what I’m going to ask: what can we find out about this lost pumping station, and if there is any verity to this bit of interesting oral history?
Please, do comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.
While we’re about it, reader Peter has been thinking laterally about Silver Court and noticed something remarkable, and I’ve also had some interesting input from Walsall Council, who own the building. That one really isn’t straightforward.
In the mean time, however, Peter reminded me indirectly of an image I’d forgotten, sent to me by Brian Stringer a couple of years ago.
There’s a post here discussing this remarkable image. The interesting thing is it shows the pumping station and the encroaching floodwater – from this it can be seen that the railway embankment did seem to be acting as a ‘dam’ for the rest of the village. Note that the houses mentioned in the 1952 newspaper article have gone. Is there any way we can nail this down? Brian is specific about the dates, so I’m wondering if this is from 53-54.
Thanks to peter for spotting that. As they say, stay tuned…