Pumphouse takes shape

Encountering no end of minor issues in interpreting the vagueness of George Aitchision Snr's limited outline Chris has carefully referenced the details that survived to be photographed, the Osborne illustration and map outlines, to decide on the structure's shape.

2/28/20242 min read

Exactly a month has passed since my last blog entry so what better time for an update. Work has continued on the pump house. This has been nothing short of a nightmare trying to interpret Brees drawings, fuzzy old photos, and consider common sense architectural practice. I confess I have reached a point where I’m comfortable with it despite the fact that there may well be areas I have simply got it wrong. At the end of the day I always have modellers licence to fall back on, an excuse I try my hardest to avoid using but this is 1839 after all!

The first image is a view of the North or ’track facing’ side. To the left the office/lamp room with stokers apartment above, and to the right the boiler room and pumping house itself. This awaits a stone capping to the top of the wall and the large, low-sided water tank. The rest of the chimney will also be needed on the right, circular, tapered, and in brick, oh joy...

The second image shows the back yard and steps, clearly visible on both original and later maps. I gave up trying to interpret a strange, short section of curved wall at the top of the steps although in hindsight it may have been a hoist to allow coke to be lowered down to ground level for the engines (just a thought). The pump house is truncated here as it was too long to fit on the baseboard. Hopefully, this doesn’t really matter in terms of the overall message.

The third pic shows that the stokers apartment still needs its lead roof and some sort of gutter to dispose of rain. The small chimney is for the forge located at the end of the engine shed.

Finally, a very austere West wall, the one facing Birmingham. There may well have been a small window on ground floor level but I left it out as there is also a retaining wall to be added and the embankment which I was concerned may clash with the window. In other words, the angles all got a bit too complicated so I ignored it! As I say, sometimes you have to arrive at a place of comfort, it’s only a hobby…!