A new pumping station at Wood Green


In 1871 the South Staffordshire Waterworks Company built the pumping station in Brunswick Park Road, Wood Green. It has long been a familiar landmark, which was built is the same year that Sampson Lloyd became Chairman of the Waterworks Company.


The pumping station was designed to pump water to the higher parts of the network, in order to improve the supply. It was built on land purchased from Richard Jesson, one of the company’s directors, alongside the London & North Western Railway, where a siding was constructed for the delivery of coal. The pump was operated by a beam engine supplied by James Watt and Company, who also built the boilers. The building was soon extended to house another two beam engines and boilers, which were built by Harvey & Company, of Hayle in Cornwall.


In the early years, the water company received a number of complaints about the large volume of black smoke that was sometimes emitted from the chimney. It hung about the area like a thick fog, covering the cemetery, and sometimes affecting events in nearby Brunswick Park. In the 1890s the company promised to make every effort to reduce the problem and keep it under control.


In 1895, local industrialist Francis Henry Lloyd became a director of the waterworks company, and in 1913 was appointed Chairman, a post he held until his untimely death in 1916.

Looking over Brunswick Park to the pumping station in the late 1890s.

In 1911 the plant was updated. A new engine house, and a new boiler house were built to contain a Galloways of Manchester triple expansion engine with force pumps, and two Lancashire boilers. The new plant was capable of pumping four million gallons of water each day.


In 1918 the old Watt beam engine was dismantled and the original engine hall became workshops for the repair and maintenance of the pumping plant.


The plant was again updated in 1920 when the steam engines were replaced by three electrically driven pumps built by the Swiss company, Sulzer Brothers. The two Harvey & Company’s beam engines and the old boilers were dismantled to provide space for an administration office and central stores. In 1926, due to the high cost of electricity, a steam turbine and a 320 kilowatt alternator were installed in a turbine room built in part of the boiler house.

The pumping station and the surrounding area in 1918.

The pumping station continued in use until 1975 when the Walsall Booster Station opened. In 1981 the buildings and land were sold. The newer building is now an apartment block, the others are occupied by several small companies.

Return to the
previous page