Claymills Victorian Pumping Station is rich in artefacts and history – there are four giant beam engines,

manufactured by Gimsons of Leicester, five Lancashire boilers, ancillary engines, a steam powered Victorian workshop and the previously mentioned generating equipment. Claymills is described by English Heritage as "The most complete site of its kind in the UK".

The two engines in C/D engine house have been running in their restored state for more than ten years; whispering giants whose action is mesmerising. Sitting up on the beam floor in the very top of the engine house, watching the two 13 ton beams nodding happily, is a favourite pastime of ours.

A/B engine house was in a worse state of disrepair, but B engine ran again for the first time two years ago, after five years of work. Time is limited for anyone who wants to see for themselves what the dereliction was like, because work has now begun on A engine and the building. It’s anticipated that it won’t take as long.

Our aim is to present a working site demonstrating how steam power and ingenuity helped solve the problem of sewage disposal. As a grade II* listed site and because the Trust wishes to show the site in as original condition as possible, we don’t put up big, distracting notices explaining everything. Instead, we encourage visitors to talk with the volunteers, or take one of our fascinating guided tours.

We’ve expanded from being a fascinating place for those interested in Victorian engineering, to fun, hands-on educational visits, and a good place for families. We have a Ratty Trail for our young visitors to follow, which is designed so that they don’t miss anywhere on the site, and which morphed into The Ratty Tails, the three volumes (so far!) of the thrilling adventures of the Claymills Rats.

A registered charity, the Trust employs no one – all the organisation and restoration of the site and equipment is carried out by volunteers who give up their time and effort to restore and operate the site for the public. Last year we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the first working party on the site, and visitors and volunteers alike marvelled at how far we’d come. ‘Did we really do that?’ Well, yes, we did! There are many years of work left

to be done; costs are funded mainly through donations, admission charges for steaming days and most importantly for the long term, membership fees.

Visitors are welcome at any time; if the gates are open come in for a look round. You can always get a cuppa and a snack; and on steaming or other special event days, our Stoker’s Rest provides hot and cold light meals. All the information you need is on our website; we look forward to seeing you here at t’Mill.

For more information visit, or contact 01283 5099029

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