Sunday, 1 June 2008

'Lion' and the Pumphouse

View of the Pumphouse from the street (from a photograph by David Neish).

In 1992, National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside conducted an extensive survey on the pumping shed at Princes Dock which had housed LION from the 1870s until the 1920s, prior to the demolition of the shed. By this time, the shed had reached a stage of extreme dilapidation.

Loraine Knowles, then the Head of the Regional History Department, allowed the Old Locomotive Committee to publish a synopsis of the survey, from which this report is derived.

The pumping shed was constructed during the late 1860s, at the South end of a graving dock facility within the Prince's Dock, in order to pump dry the graving dock. The graving dock itself was formed from a redundant link between the Prince's and George's Docks.

This building was originally built to accommodate the steam locomotive LION, re-arranged as a stationary engine. LION was removed when electrically-driven pumps were installed in the late 1920s, allowing part of the building to be converted as a maintenance garage. Most of the available drawings date from this change to electric pumping and the building was little changed thereafter. Unfortunately, these drawings do not show all details of the main chimney associated with the building or of the internal timber platform which was used to store coal and give access to LION's firehole door for firing.

The survey found that a number of details differed from the drawings, possibly because the original proposals were unworkable or incomplete or for reasons of cost-saving.

View of the Pumphouse from the street and an aerial view of the site being cleared for redevelopment.

Detail Front Elevation and Section (measured drawing by Kingham Knight Associates for the survey).

Building Plan, Front Elevation and Rear Elevation (measured drawing by Kingham Knight Associates for the survey).

Cross Section A-A, Side Elevation (facing river), Side Elevation (facing Dock Road) (measured drawing by Kingham Knight Associates for the survey).

View of roof, showing louvres, and internal view showing roof construction.

A plan showing the arrangement of LION in the pumphouse.

Another plan showing LION in the pumphouse and the drive via bevel gears to the chain pump.