On Saturday last (9th February 2019) I featured a postcard image here of Norton Pool with a picture of a sailing boat on the water before an ornate pavilion, which I believe to be depicting Chasewater early in the 1900s.
Well, this raised some debate as I expected it to: People have said they don’t remember this pavilion at all, and anyway, it doesn’t look like Chasewater as there are no chimneys or signs of industry or the dam.
I’m convinced it is Chasewater, and David Evans and a few other people pointed out to me the following map – a 1:10,560 1921 of Chasewater. It shows a Pavillon on the shoreline, about where the sailing club is today.
The most interesting bit is that it’s on the arm of the lake that projects northeast, today called Fly Bay. It looks very much like to me that the photo was taken from the shore opposite.
Now the photo has quite a narrow field of view, and if you look at the map, You’d not see any chimneys in the field of view. Obviously, there will be one to the left of the image at the pit; but this is a postcard, so I’d imagine they kept it out of shot.
This is clearly the earliest beginning s of a sailing club on the reservoir, the precursor of the one that still exists today in near enough the same spot.
Now a couple of people have also raised the question of the steamboat that used to run on Chasewater – Reg mentioned it and David Evans found a familiar image of it in the recent Gerald Reece donation. This photo, which was shared with the blog some years ago by Bill Mayo, shows the steam boat that worked as a passenger ferry for a few years.
We have mentioned the steamboat before, in this article, in which I noted Chasetown publican J. Donaldson was the operator of the ill-fated enterprise to run the steamboat for pleasure trips on what was then Norton Pool; this advert was published in the Lichfield Mercury, as found by Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler.
I believe the author and active local historian Clive Roberts has done a lot of research on the Donaldson steamboat service, and believes it ran for a lot longer than commonly accepted, and also found out that the vessel was most likely built in Brownhills by a factory at Catshill.
Thanks to David and all who contributed to this enquiry – if you have anything to add, please do comment, tug my sleeve on social media or mail me: BrownhillsBob at goolgemail dot com. Cheers!