Sunderland engines get steaming again at pumping station open day

The Ryhope Engines Museum held a steaming weekend. Phil Hood (left) and Vince Cassidy feed wood into the boiler.
The Ryhope Engines Museum held a steaming weekend. Phil Hood (left) and Vince Cassidy feed wood into the boiler.
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ONE of the city’s finest industrial monuments has celebrated one of its biggest events.

Hundreds flocked to Ryhope Engines Museum for its annual Easter Steaming Weekend.

The Ryhope Engines Museum held a steaming weekend. Volunteer Eddy Moore.

The Ryhope Engines Museum held a steaming weekend. Volunteer Eddy Moore.

As well as being able to see the museum’s mighty engines working at full steam at the Grade II (starred) Listed building, visitors could marvel at around 200 vintage and classic cars on display and watch blacksmith demonstrations.

Built in 1868, Ryhope Pumping Station once provided clean water to the people of Sunderland.

Though the station ceased operations in 1967, its two 100 horsepower beam engines are kept in working order by volunteer members of the Ryhope Engines Trust and are steamed only a few times a year.

Keith Bell, chairman of the trust, said: “This was our first public event of 2015 and it was really successful.

This was our first public event of 2015 and it was really successful.

“On Derby Day, we had hundreds of people coming along.

“I think there are two types of people: those who like football and those who like cars. And we definitely had the car people here.

“Our steaming weekends are the perfect time to come here and 95 per cent of our visitors are at these events. We are open every Sunday from 1pm to 5pm, but the engines are static then.

“There’s around two dozen volunteers here and we still get a thrill from seeing someone’s face when they see the engines working for the first time, especially children’s.”

He added: “The pumping station is an important part of the area’s industrial heritage and the fact it is still in working order is even more important.”

The next steaming weekend will be held from May 30 to June 1. Entry is free.