(L-R) Mary Sinclair Powell and Richard Curtis (Museum Chairman) standing next to Blake’s treadle lathe, plus Fred Snelgrove (Volunteer Engineer and creator of the new display) and Geoff Blake (grandson of Henry T Blake) in the 'Old Workshop'.
On Easter Sunday, Ross-on-Wye local historian Mary Sinclair Powell, opened a new display at the Waterworks Museum - Hereford called the 'Old Workshop'. This is a heritage-engineering workshop of the late Victorian/Edwardian era, the centrepiece of which is the treadle lathe on which Henry Blake had turned taps and fittings for his water engineering business in Ross. The lathe, together with a large collection of tools and ancillary pieces, was a most generous donation by the grandsons of Henry Blake, who have also loaned the Museum a display board of original taps made by Henry in the 1880s and some novel fire extinguishers invented and patented by Henry in 1907. For more information on the Alpha Fire Extinguisher click here.
In opening the Old Workshop, Mary Sinclair Powell noted, “I feel it a great privilege to be involved with this event and know that the whole Blake family would be proud to see their engineering prowess on display. I hope that future visitors to this fantastic Waterworks Museum have the chance to see these historic items for many years to come. I say ‘well done’ to all the Museum volunteers for their hard work in acquiring and preserving them as part of our local heritage.”
The opening was part of a weekend of celebration focussing on Ross-on-Wye during which some 230 visitors attended the Waterworks Museum. This was the first in a series of events focussing on the historic water supplies to Herefordshire’s market towns. Ross was selected for this first event because, with the exception of Hereford City, the Museum has more significant engines and pumps from Alton Court water works, which supplied Ross for over 100 years, than from any other location. For more information click here.