Dudley, United Kingdom Netherton Reservoir


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from Wikipedia by Bs0u10e01 CC BY-SA 3.0

Netherton Reservoir - otherwise known as Lodge Farm Reservoir - is a canal feeder reservoir in the Netherton district of Dudley, England. It opened in 1838, and is now used for watersports, as well as supplying water to the canal system.


In the vicinity of the reservoir, the Dudley Canal Line No 2 followed a circuitous route, but in the 1830s Thomas Brewin was responsible for building a more direct route. The total length of the new cut, which opened in 1838, was about 400yd, which included a 75yd tunnel, known as Brewin's Tunnel. The new route enabled a reservoir to be built over the old course of the canal, together with a steam-powered pumping engine. The tunnel did not last long, as it was opened out in 1858, necessitating the construction of a bridge to carry the lane which had previously crossed over the top of the tunnel. The bridge is now called High Bridge, and the lane is called Highbridge Road.
The reservoir, which was built between 1835 and 1838, acted as a storage reservoir, so that when water was plentiful, as a result of rain, it could be pumped from the canal into the reservoir, and then released back into the canal through sluices near the tunnel when it was required. The engine was installed in 1840, and drove a scoop wheel. A cottage was provided for the sluice keeper.
With the nationalisation of the canals in 1948, ownership of the reservoir passed from the Birmingham Canal Navigations, with whom the Dudley Canal had amalgamated in 1846, to British Waterways. They sold it to Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council in 1966, who wanted to improve the leisure facilities within their area, and have since developed it for watersports, although it still supplies water to the canal.


The reservoir now hosts watersports including Scuba Diving, yachting and water skiing. The Dudley Water Ski and Yacht Club began as an informal society in 1963, and negotiated with Dudley Council to allow them to use the reservoir for their activities. Changing rooms and a clubhouse were built, and the use of the reservoir was shared with two diving clubs, although they remained independent of the original club. Subsequently, the club became the Dudley Water Sports Centre, and registered with Companies House as a private limited company in 1997.
The Dudley Dolphin BSAC diving club began as a group of like-minded divers in 1959. Negotiations with the Water Ski and Yacht Club were not initially successful, as the activities appeared to conflict, but a suitable compromise was worked out in 1964, and the club was formed by constitution. Diving was suspended in 1967, as swimmers were perceived as a hazard to boats, but more negotiations led to a trial reinstatement of the activity in October 1968, and it became permanent in December 1969. The club did not affiliate to the British Sub-Aqua Club, as they were carrying out research into fish in the reservoir, while the BSAC supported spearfishing. However, the situation had changed by 1976, and they are now part of that organisation, with all of the trainers holding BSAC qualifications.
The other diving club is the Dudley Nautilus Sub-Aqua Club, which was formed in 1973. They are based at the leisure centre at Halesowen, but use the reservoir for diving weekly. They keep a rigid-hulled inflatable boat at Netherton, from which diving can take place.




Netherton Reservoir