The History of Mill Meece Pumping StationMill Meece Pumping Station

Mill Meece was evidently chosen as a suitable source of supply because of its proximity to the successful development at Hatton and the reservoir at Hanchurch.

By 1899, when the Company decided to develop a second site in the Meece valley, the original pair of compound rotary beam steam engines at Hatton had recently been supplemented by a horizontal cross compound rotary engine. Plans were already in hand to meet the impending shortage of water by a further increase in the rate of abstraction, this was to be achieved by installing a horizontal tandem compound rotary engine at the same site.

With six wells and five boreholes at one station, it was considered that the reliable yield would be exceeded by further abstraction at Hatton, and the additional boreholes should be within the same geological series but at some distance away.

The Company purchased 7.22 acres of land at Mill Meece for 500 from Mr. Thomas Wibberley of The Grange near Stone. The field was part of Birch House Farm, and the conveyance was dated 9th May 1899.

Initially a well gave very poor results when it had been expected that a copious supply would be obtained possibly under artesian conditions as at Hatton. It was concluded that the well was on the wrong side of a major geological fault and a pilot hole was next drilled on the Northern boundary of the Company's land. This borehole was 15 inches in diameter reducing to 9 inches in diameter and was commenced on 15th December 1899 but was abandoned by the first contract about 176 feet below ground level, in very hard Keuper marl. The second contractor started work in 1901 but the pilot hole was abandoned at a depth 1196 feet when the pebble beds, which comprised the main aquifer, were not found.

Further boreholes and a well were sunk between 1903 and 1909 two fields further to the North on the plot in which the station was eventually built. This area of 2.46 acres, forming part of Mill House Farm, was acquired from the Swynnerton Estate trustees by a conveyance dated 29th July 1907 for 400. The principle trustee was Mr. Basil Fitzherbert who lived nearby at Swynnerton Park and had previously sold both the Hanchurch and Hatton sites to the Company.

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