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Report - Crossness Pumping station, April 2012

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by rustproofhawk, May 3, 2012.

  1. rustproofhawk

    rustproofhawk jah rastafari
    Regular User

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    Me, Pirate and gmattech went here last month on the way to sevaralls. I had never heard of the place until Pirate mentioned it and its not going to be done on the sly, so we went on a open day, I know it's not technically a explore but hopefully this will enlighten others who didn't know about it and like this kinda stuff, then they can pay a visit.

    It was hard to get photos without people in the photos, plus the lighting was very up and down. Half the place is restored and they had the steam engine running:cool: its a good wander

    now lets have some history

    Crossness Pumping Station was a sewage pumping station designed by engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette and architect Charles Henry Driver. It was constructed between 1859 and 1865 as part of his redevelopment of the London sewerage system. It is located at Crossness, southeast London, England, at the eastern end of the Southern Outfall Sewer.
    The sewage was pumped up into a 27-million-imperial-gallon (120,000 m3) reservoir, and was released into the Thames during the ebbing tide.
    The station contains the four original pumping engines, which are thought to be the largest remaining rotative beam engines in the world, with 52 ton flywheels and 47 ton beams. The engines are named: Prince Consort, Victoria, Albert Edward, and Alexandra. Although the engines are original, they are not in their original 1864 configuration as all four engines were converted from single cylinder to the current triple expansion operation in 1901 and 1902. Prince Consort was returned to steam in 2003 and now runs on Trust Open Days. The other engines are not in working order, although work has begun on the restoration of Victoria.
    It is adjacent to Erith Marshes, a grazing marsh, the northern part of which is designated as Crossness Nature Reserve. This provides a valuable habitat for creatures ranging from moths to small amphibians and water voles.

    The pumping station was decommissioned in the 1950s, and it was not considered economic to dismantle the engines as the cost of doing so far exceeded any scrap value. The more valuable metal items (made from brass) such as the engine oilers, much pipework and even the handrails from the stairs were removed. The remaining building and engines were left to suffer considerable vandalism and decay.
    Today the pumping station is managed by the Crossness Engines Trust, a registered charity set up in 1987 to oversee the restoration project. It is on the Buildings at Risk Register.

    Prince Consort was thought to be the last engine to run, in 1953, and it is this engine on which the restoration activity has concentrated. After some fifteen years of effort the engine is now working again and is run on the open days organised by the Trust.
    When the buildings were abandoned, the pumps and culverts below the Beam Engine House were filled with sand to reduce the risks from methane. This has meant that some 100 tons of this sand has had to be excavated from around and underneath the pumps before there was any hope of moving the beam and flywheel. Further, there was a considerable ingress of rain water which has resulted in serious rusting of the engine parts.




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