Monday, 11 April 2011

Vintage steam-powered pumping station is restored

Image courtesy of Steampumps.net
Vintage steam-powered pumping station is restored

Is Essex slowly becoming steam-powered?!  (Wouldn't that be something?).  First my local heritage railway trust restores a steam engine for the 2012 Olympics and now the water board have lent a hand in the restoration of a monstrous steam-powered water pump, which would have served this area from the 1920s to the 1960s.

This story serves as a reminder of the inherent aesthetic quality present in machinery of this age and type (I doubt today's pumping stations would look so pleasing to the eye, even in 80 years' time!), which more than justifies its preservation.  It is also a further reminder of the deplorable attitude to late 19th- and early 20th-Century design that was prevalent in the 1960s.  I'm glad that 20 years later someone had the idea to give it a listed status, which no doubt went a long way to getting it to where it is now.

Once again I am pleased to see a big company like Essex & Suffolk Water appreciating its industry's history and working together with the local museum and council to ensure that this imposing device can be experienced by the general public.  As ever, it is also a testament to the skill and devotion of the small group of enthusiasts who helped to bring this station back to its former glory.  I shall make a point of visiting the Langford Museum of Power if I am ever in the area, to see "Marshall" for myself.

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