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Restoring SS Freshspring

Relevance: 54%      Posted on: 21st March 2016

Built in 1946, SS Freshspring is the last of 14 Fresh-Class water carriers, all of which were 121 feet in length and were powered by a triple-expansion steam engine! She is recognised as being of national historical significance on the National Register of Historic Vessels. The SS Freshspring Society (a not-for-profit organisation) aim to return SS Freshspring to operation – preserving the past and inspiring knowledge for the future. The Steam Ship Freshspring had to replenish Naval ships with fresh water for use in their boilers. She also acted as a fire tender when required! SS Freshspring will be sympathetically…

Trouble at Heage Mill

Relevance: 53%      Posted on: 9th November 2015

When the millwrights carried out maintenance at the grade II* windmill (see Heage Windmill) in late summer 2015, they discovered that some major structural components were showing signs of severe wet rot.   The rotted members were not replaced in the 2002 restoration programme since, in accordance with guidelines set by English Heritage, they were judged by the restoration millwrights to be suitable for continued use. The members in question are made from very large section timbers, exposed to the elements at all times, and form part of the support structure for the windshaft and also of the fan tail…

Crossness Sewage Pumping Station

Relevance: 52%      Posted on: 21st September 2015

Think London, think open sewers, think Joseph Bazalgette - and that’s where Crossness Pumping Station comes in! It officially opened in 1865 and originally called the Southern Outfall Works. The Great Stink of 1858 was the breaking point for parliament and action was taken. Cholera reached England in 1832 and it took them 10 years to identify the cause as contaminated drinking water and even longer to deal with the problem effectively. Bazalgette put forward the best poo-plan and they embarked upon the herculean task. The plan was to move the effluent eastwards along a series of interconnecting sewers that…

Protect Ashburton Station and Track Bed

Relevance: 51%      Posted on: 12th September 2015

Ashburton railway station finally closed in 1971, it was the terminus of a branch line of the GWR from Totnes. It sports a rare example of the Brunel-style Overall Roof, which is of an iconic and attractive design and spans the track and platforms. This unique terminus building was built before 1872 when the line from Totnes to Ashburton was opened. At some point it became a garage (Station Garage), which could be closed in the future and the building and the area around it redeveloped. It is not a listed building, but the assemblage of railway structures as a…

Tees Cottage Pumping Station

Relevance: 51%      Posted on: 12th November 2016

Tees Cottage Pumping Station has 2 completely original pumping engines in full working order. It is a Victorian waterworks in Darlington and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Tees Cottage Pumping Station, in the North East of England, began supplying water to Darlington in 1849. The engines are housed in their own purpose built buildings, dating from 1847 to 1901, in themselves superb examples of Victorian architecture. The engines and buildings are carefully maintained, preserved and run by volunteers, supported by the site owner, Northumbrian Water. The engines are displayed running under their pumping load on about four weekends each year. One…

St. Fillan’s Mill

Relevance: 51%      Posted on: 4th October 2017

St. Fillan's Mill was built circa 1840 by John Campbell, 2nd Marquis of Breadalbane. It has its own saint and set of healing stones! St. Fillan's Mill is a 3 story high former tweed mill, built from rubble to the north-west of the Bridge of Dochart around the area of Millmore. The mill stands on a traditional site occupied by a succession of meal mills, the earliest of which is said to have been erected by St. Fillan himself! Traditionally, the mill did not turn on St. Fillan’s Day on the 9th January. In 1910 the building was described as…

Museum to Millwright Academy!

Relevance: 50%      Posted on: 21st March 2018

Norfolk's tallest Tower Mill is being backed by a group of industrial heritage champions to convert it into The National Millwrighting Centre! To deliver this vital project, to secure the future of Sutton Mill and to create the Academy to train millers and millwrights, they need to raise £500,000.00. Their Vision is to purchase and then restore the Grade 2* listed Sutton Mill and Granary to create a base for the Academy from which to train millers and millwrights in the crafts of stoneground milling and traditional millwrighting. To fund the training programmes and to enable the public to engage…

Wanlockhead Beam Engine

Relevance: 49%      Posted on: 30th November 2015

Built circa 1870, the Wanlockhead Beam Engine is the only water-bucket pumping engine still in situ in the UK today. The Straitsteps Lead Mine was opened up in circa 1675 by Sir James Stampfield. The hills here also contained gold! It was a vertical shaft descending to the lead vein, which was then followed by horizontal tunnels. Water was a persistent problem and previous solutions were, the hand powered rag pumps and water wheel powered pumping engines. Thankfully, the water-bucket and beam engine pumps arrived in this area as early as 1745. This 1870 pump was powered by the simple…

Box Hill Tunnel

Relevance: 48%      Posted on: 12th December 2017

Box Hill Tunnel is Brunel's bold solution to nature's immovable obstruction to his railway desire line. It was built between 1838-1841 and the longest tunnel in the World at the time! The Box Hill Tunnel served the Great Western Railway (GWR) and came to being under the direction of the famous railway engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The tunnel is 1.83 miles (2.95 km) in length, straight, and had to adopt a slight decline; it descends on a 1 in 100 gradient from the east. It was an enormous undertaking and lives were lost while working in the dangerous conditions. Brunel…

Hetty Pit Engine

Relevance: 46%      Posted on: 28th October 2016

The Hetty Pit at the Ty Mawr Colliery retains its original steam winding engine. The Barker & Cope of Kidsgrove, Staffordshire, steam winder engine dates from 1875. The Hetty Pit Engine was named after the step daughter of the chairman of the company, Miss Hetty Snow. However, this site had been worked before for its coal and was known as Gyfeillion Pit, Ty Mawr and later (during the 1870s) passed into the hands of the Great Western Colliery Company. The original Ty Mawr Colliery shaft was sunk in 1848 by Evan Hopkins and there on the name applied to the…