Two miles north of Burton upon Trent, Claymills Victorian Pumping Station is fitted with four beam engines and pumps capable of pumping 12 million gallons (56 million litres) every day. What was pumped was neither sewage now water but industrial effluent from the brewing industry.
From 1885 the pumping station ran continuously up to 1969. From 1969 to 1972 the pumping station was progressively decommissioned as Severn Trent Water, the owners, set up a new integrated sewage and digestion plant on the site, leaving the old pumping station intact, initially as a back-up.
After a period of disuse, a Trust was set up in 1993 to restore and operate the Pumping Station as it would have been run from 1885 for nearly a century. The Trust has no employees and the Pumping Station is run entirely by volunteers.
As a museum, Claymills is unique in that it is a large Victorian integrated industrial installation which operates original steam machinery on the original site, including boilers, beam engines and ancillary engines. The museum has probably the oldest working in situ steam engine and dynamo set in the country.
The museum is open on Thursdays and Saturdays throughout the year for volunteers and visitors, and about 12 times a year the museum is steamed over a weekend – dates on the website.
The museum needs volunteers with all the skills that any museum needs – not just engineering, but administration, front-of-house, site operations, tour guides … you name it, it is needed!
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