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Walton Pumping Station
Hurst Road, West Molesey, Surrey, UK
associated engineer
Sir James William Restler
Henry Edward Stilgoe
date  24th October 1908 - 10th June 1911, 1924 - 1926
era  Modern  |  category  Water Supply/Pipes  |  reference  TQ116684
ICE reference number  HEW 2229
Walton Pumping Station was built to serve the various reservoirs and filter beds in the vicinity, concentrating all the pumping effort into one location. It remains operational and is an important element of the water supply infrastructure for Surrey and west London.
The construction of two storage reservoirs, an intake from the River Thames, filter beds and a pumping station near Walton-on-Thames was authorised by the Southwark and Vauxhall Water Bill 1898. Responsibility for the scheme passed to the Metropolitan Water Board before work began.
The river intake (TQ114687) is an open channel 439m long and 6.7m wide with a water depth of 2.4m, which brings water to the pumping station for distribution to either the Walton Reservoirs (TQ120677) or the Island Barn Reservoir (TQ138670).
Charles E. Hearson, Chairman of the Works and Stores Committee of the Metropolitan Water Board, laid the foundation stone of the pumping station on 24th October 1908. The building was designed by James Restler (1851-1918), then Deputy Chief Engineer to the Metropolitan Water Board. It is built in red brick with white stone dressings, hipped slate roofs and raised lantern lights along the roof ridges.
The original machinery comprised four inverted vertical triple-expansion steam engines the steam generated by 10 boilers supplied with coal from a wharf at the river bank. Each engine had a power output of 373kW at 135 rpm and drove a double stage centrifugal pump capable of lifting 114 million litres of water per day into the reservoirs. Water discharged from the reservoirs flows by gravity to the filter beds at Hampton Water Works (TQ130692).
The station began operating on 10th June 1911 when John Burns MP (1858-1943), President of the Local Government Board, started the engines. The engines, pumps and turbines cost 49,653 and the contract price for the intake works and the pumping station buildings was 69,657 a total of 119,310.
On 19th July 1926, Neville Chamberlain MP (1869-1940), then Minister of Health, inaugurated an extension to the station. The 1911 steam engines were updated with sets comprising inverted vertical single cylinder steam engines, triple expansion steam pumps and steam turbines.
Additional filter beds were opened in 1950 on the west side of the pumping station. The building was refurbished again, and completed on 24th September 1964. The steam engines were replaced by electric power to drive the pumps.
One of the original steam engines remains in the pumping station and is maintained in excellent condition by Thames Water, though it is no longer operational. Thames Water Authority took over from the Metropolitan Water Board in 1974, becoming Thames Water after privatisation in 1989.
Contractor: Dick Kerr & Co
Steam engines: Thames Ironworks Shipbuilding & Engineering Co
Boilers: Babcock & Wilcox, Renfrew
Centrifugal pumps: Gwynnes
Steam engines (1926): Babcock & Wilcox, Renfrew
Steam pumps (1926): Hathorn, Davey & Co (Leeds)
Research: ECPK
bibliography
"Island Barn Reservoir: Ceremony of Cutting the First Sod October 24, 1908", Metropolitan Water Board, London, 1908
"Obituary: Sir James William Restler, K.B.E., 1851-1918" in ICE Proceedings, Vol.211, p.398, London, January 1921
www.albert-gieseler.de
www.internalfire.com
www.moleseyhistory.co.uk
reference sources   CEH Lond
Location

Walton Pumping Station