Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 44, September 2000
Mr Des Morgan, of Tairua has completed the building of a scale model of the Bella Street Pump, Thames. Mr Morgan, a retired engineer says that building the 1:40 scale model took about 5000 hours. Virtually no detail has been omitted. The sand cast metal model is complete with a kauri poppet head. The model will eventually be displayed at the Bella Street Pumphouse, which is being restored.
The Pumphouse and quadrants are set to become a significant reminder of Thames' gold mining past and a major tourist attraction. A recent grant has been received from the Lottery Grants Board to preserve the 3.7 metre high quadrants at the rear of the building. The quadrants, assembled by A & G Price in 1898, were part of the steam-driven engine that used to pump water from the Grahamstown area of the Thames gold fields, making deep level prospecting possible. It was a "significant" project, the biggest in Australasia. The quadrants drove giant pistons 289 metres into the ground, but were capable of reaching 610 metres. It was decommissioned in 1913 when a fault line was struck.
The quadrants, boiler house and engine room are the only surviving evidence of the huge pumps as machinery has been removed from the building.
The old Thames Borough Council used the pumphouse to generate power until 1949.
Future plans of restoration include the construction of a replica poppet head and rebuilding the chimney, the original chimney having been dismantled and the bricks used to build the former White Bros. Bus Company Building in 1924 at the northern end of Pollen Street.