Situated on the Birmingham Main Line Canal, Galton Valley Pumping Station first opened in 1892 with the purpose of pumping water from the lower Birmingham New Main Line to the high Old Main Line Canal. This was to replace the water lost from the higher level when boats went through the Smethwick locks. However the station only had a short working life, closing in the mid 1920s due to reduced traffic on the canals. Apart from a short period during the Second World War the building sat empty until it was restored and opened as part of the Galton Valley Canal Heritage Centre in the late 1980s.
Today this small museum gives an insight into some of the most important and historic civil engineering feats in the area, including the world famous Galton Bridge as well as a look at life and work on the canals. The building is largely staffed by volunteers - the Friends of Galton Valley Pumping Station on behalf of Sandwell Museum Service. If you are interested in volunteering at the site then please see the contact details below.
The Pumping Station is situation on the Old Mainline Canal. Access is via steep steps from the bridge on Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick onto the canal towpath.
We don't have a permanent member of staff based at the Pumping Station so for all enquiries call Wednesbury Museum on 0121 556 0683 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays 9:30am-4:30pm. You can also e-mail us for general museum service queries on email@example.com but please note that opening times information is below along with links to our events and activities listings.
Getting to us
The Pumping Station can be accessed along the canal towpath. The site is a 5-10 minute walk from Smethwick High Street which is served well with buses. Rolf Street train station is a 5 minute walk away.
You can find more information about getting to us on public transport on the Network West Midlands website
Parking is on Brasshouse Lane or on the public carpark just off Brasshouse Lane, next to the Albion Foundation building and the children's centre, opposite Galton Valley School.
The Pumping Station is open on one Saturday per month during the summer season (April-October) from 10am-3pm manned by our volunteers. You can find more information about events and open days on our What's on page and then scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will find Galton Valley museum information. Entry is FREE
Events, exhibitions and activities.
- To find out more about what we are up to browse our Facebook page
- You can follow us on Twitter @sandwellmuseums
- Follow us on Instagram @sandwellmuseums #sandwellmuseums
- Visit the new Discover Sandwell website with information about what there is to see and do in Sandwell. This website is being developeded all the time.
- Events and activities - Find out what's on with our activities listings page.
Other visitor information.
- Dogs are welcome as long as they are kept on a lead and under strict control.
- There are no public toilets at the site.
Access to the museum is along the canal towpath which is flat and well kept, however the nearest access to the towpath is just a few metres from the museum but is via some steep steps from the bridge on Brasshouse Lane.
There are no lifts in the building and there are a number of steps accessing different parts of the building.
Please note that there are no public toilets on site.
There are no designated disabled parking spaces near the museum. There is limited parking on the Brasshouse Lane Canal bridge a 5 minute walk from the museum via some steep steps and there is parking on a small carpark off Brasshouse Lane a 10 minute walk away with the same access down the steep steps on Brasshouse Lane.