Summer 2006
Baby Boomers Rock On
Bar License
Bewl - Spring Bank Holiday
Dinghy Show
First Race of 2006 Season
First Working Party of 2006
Kew Bridge Steam Museum
Kew Gardens
Kew Motors V Gardens
Mid-Thames Trophy
News of Members
Open Weekend
Quiz Night
Regatta & BBQ
Regatta at Hampton
Sailing for the Blind Wine?
Significant Birthday
Social Calendar
Start of Season Party
Kew Bridge Steam Museum
    At midday on Saturday 8 April several club members met at the Rose and Crown on Kew Green for lunch. This was followed by Richard, Pat and Mike heading off to the Kew Bridge Steam Museum, while everybody else went to Kew Gardens. Now I'm hoping one of that group wrote something about 'the gardens' because the rest of this piece is about the interesting part of the day.
    The 'steam' museum is located in the historical premises of the former Grand Junction Water Works Company which derives its name from the Grand Junction Canal which joined the Thames at Kew. Pumping at Kew commenced in 1838 and continued until 1944 when electric technology was installed, making the steam engines redundant.
At full capacity the Kew Bridge pumping station supplied 30 million gallons of water every day to its delivery area which extended from Sunbury to Kensington. The water was first pumped to reservoirs at Campden Hill before being pumped to individual streets. In its heyday, around 1900, eight engines and 18 boilers were in operation. The site is still owned by Thames Water Plc who lease it to the Kew Bridge Engines Trust and Water Supplies Museum which is a registered charity.
     The museum is housed in a unique collection of Grade I and II listed buildings. They include the original engine rooms, boiler rooms and outbuildings. The tall tower is not, as many people think, a chimney stack, but a standpipe tower soaring 197ft. into the air. Its viewing gallery, right at the top, is occasionally open to the public.
    I won't bore you by talking about the exhibits, other than to say it is a remarkable collection of steam and diesels engines. Most work and, with the exception of the Boulton & Watt and Maudslay beam engines, are run during opening hours. The beam engines are so expensive to run they are only used a few times a year. Nowadays all the museums steam is gas heated and with the rising costs machinery running is rotated. What else can I say, other than, the next time it pours with rain and you're wondering what to do, take yourself off to the Kew Bridge Steam Museum, it's fascinating!
    Mike (all steamed up) Baker