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Report - Claymill Pumping Engines and Bath House

john

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
At Claymills near Burton on Trent there is an old sewage pumping station with many operating steam engines open to the public with special steaming days. http://http://www.claymills.org.uk/index.html

The main exhibits are a pair of huge Beam Engines which have been restored to working order and are very impressive.

Now the interesting bit:-

Next door to these engines is a boiler house with 5 Lancashire boilers, and next to that, symetrical with the first engines are another pair, practically untouched since they stopped working. All that has been done is the roof has been replaced on the building.

This was not part of the open day, but you were allowed to stand just on the edge of the platform at ground level to see them. The question was asked and we found a man who was very happy to show us around the other levels and derelict parts. It is very rare to see engines in this condition still in their original position.

Rusty levers, these are operated manually until the engine is running normally. The steam cylinders are behind.
IMG_0203.jpg


Top of the cylinders of one engine with the steam valves.
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Looking over the valve chest of one engine towards the 24 ft diameter flywheel of the other.
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26 ft long beam at the cylinder end, the brasses have all been stolen.
IMG_0239.jpg


We were also shown the Bath House beneath the boiler room, again untouched. This part was flooded when first taken over. The stokers lived in cottages nearby and each family had one night a week when they could use this. Probably quite unusual to provide such facilities then. The nearest pipe supplied cold water and the far pipe was for steam to heat the water.
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Stood in the bath looking towards the door.
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All this will eventually be restored, but it will never be as interesting as it is now.
 

john

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#2
Re: Claymill Pumping Engines and Bath House - REPORT

The guy who showed us round was a bit baffled at why we would want to see them in that state at first, but once he saw we were serious he couldn't show us enough, even lifting a bell off the wall so we could see the original colour scheme.

They certainly took a pride in the appearance of things in those days, the brickwork inside is pointed with a brick coloured mortar, then only some of the joints are picked out in white to give a very even appearance.

The engineer in his day would have taken a great pride in the equipment, keeping it all clean and polished, he would have been like God and you wouldn't dare enter without his permission. Modern equipment doesn't inspire that sort of pride.

Seeing the two pairs of engines, one restored and one not makes you realise what an enormous undertaking restoring them must have been.

This is the same part as the first picture but on one of the restored engines.
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