Full steam ahead at Sunderland heritage spot

The Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland, Coun Barry Curran and his wife Carol with Keith Bell, centre, chairman of the Ryhope Engines Trust, and, below, with museum visitors.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland, Coun Barry Curran and his wife Carol with Keith Bell, centre, chairman of the Ryhope Engines Trust, and, below, with museum visitors.
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The Mayor of Sunderland has been raising a glass to developments at a city landmark.

Coun Barry Curran popped into Ryhope Engines Museum for a cup of tea to celebrate the historic site’s recent refurbishment.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland, Coun Barry Curran and his wife Carol with Keith Bell, centre, chairman of the Ryhope Engines Trust, and, below, with museum visitors.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland, Coun Barry Curran and his wife Carol with Keith Bell, centre, chairman of the Ryhope Engines Trust, and, below, with museum visitors.

Changes include installing a disabled access lift and creating an on-site virtual tour, to provide a glimpse of the internal workings of this important part of Sunderland’s industrial heritage.

To help promote the new visitor amenities and support local businesses, the mayor organised the Steam and Cream charity event, which included admission to the Engines Museum and afternoon tea at the Roker Hotel.

All the money raised from the ticket sales will go to the Mayoral Charities, which this year are Sunderland Mind, Sunderland Armed Forces Network and North East Disabilities Resource Centre (NDRC).

Coun Curran said: “While Steam and Cream might appear a strange combination, I wanted to encourage people who might not previously considered visiting Ryhope Engines Museum, to come along and see for themselves what a great place it is to visit.

“The very nature of the Victorian architecture means the lift can’t reach the very top level, so the museum has developed a virtual tour people can access on their smartphones or tablets, if they can’t use the stairs on their visit.

“It really is a fascinating building and I hope that Steam and Cream charity fundraising event will be the first of many visits for those who come along.”

Ryhope Engines Museum is supported by Sunderland City Council and run by the Ryhope Engines Trust volunteer preservation group.

It’s based at Ryhope Pumping Station, which was built in the 1860s, ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​one of four pumping stations built to meet the increasing local demand for water, both domestic and industrial use across Sunderland.

It closed as a working station in 1967.