A Walk to the New Smethwick Pumping House 

The Iron Room

It’s a summer-warm April day in 2020. While the lockdown has limited access to our archival collections, it hasn’t to the places they illustrate. Therefore, I’m heading for the canals.

I enter near Spon Lane.

From here, it’s around five miles into Birmingham. Overhead, amongst other features, there is Telford’s Galton Bridge and his Engine Arm Aqueduct. Closer to Birmingham, should I choose, the path deviates towards the Soho Loop; part of the original line of the eighteenth-century canal route that once by-passed Matthew Boulton’s long gone Soho Manufactory.

Left: Galton Bridge, n.d. [LS3/42] Right: Engine Arm Aqueduct, n.d. [LS3/43] But I’m not heading that far. I reach the Smethwick Pumping House about twenty minutes into my walk.

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1 thought on “A Walk to the New Smethwick Pumping House 

  1. Keith,
    Your photos of Galton cutting and the Bridge were sentimental reminders of my childhood visits to my dad’s engineering factory in the late 1950’s. ‘Junction Works’ stood at the rear of a row of terraced houses in Oldbury Road, immediately to the West of the Bridge.
    The factory site overlooked the canals and railway lines. I spent many Saturday mornings marvelling at the view, especially the motion and sounds of steam trains – fast express trains on the West Coast Railway Line and slow ‘puffing’ local trains traversing the Bridge.

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