Campaigners trying to get Birmingham's leaders to recognise a "historic responsibility" to a Welsh valley flooded to provide water to the city said last night their fight goes on.

A delegation from the Elan Valley met Birmingham's Lord Mayor on Friday to ask for help to fund a museum to mark the heritage lost by the flooding.

Mayor Coun John Hood (Con Sutton Vesey) donated a symbolic £101 from his own pocket, representing the time span since the reservoir was opened. He also launched an appeal in Birmingham aimed at gaining public and business contributions to the heritage centre.

The move came after council leader Coun Mike Whitby (Con Harborne) refused to donate funds from the city's coffers, claiming the museum was "of limited direct benefit" to local people.

Peter Cox, chairman of Community Arts Rhayader and District (Carad), who led the delegation, said: "We have 100 years of shared history because the influence of the valley was significant on both communities. We can't under-stand why the recognition of that history and determination to protect and preserve that isn't part of Birmingham's interest as well.

"Without the major change to this Welsh valley and the new structures in place, the economic development that helped Birmingham become an international city would not have happened."

Mr Cox said he was grateful for the Mayor's gesture but added it was important that other civic leaders also recognised the city's debt to Elan.

"It was clear that senior politicians in Birmingham didn't even know where their water came from," he said.

About 110 square miles of the Elan and Claerwen valleys, 70 miles from Birmingham, were flooded to build the reservoir which was opened by Edward Vll in July 1904.

The brainchild of Joseph Chamberlain, it secured a supply of clean drinking water to the fast-growing city and help fuel its industrial expansion.

More than 100 people living in the Elan Valley were forcibly evicted when the land for the reservoir was acquired.

Carad has been promised Heritage Lottery funding of £444,500 for the museum on condition a further £104,000 is raised towards the cost. Campaigners have so far collected £30,000.