Steam Technology at its finest, housed in Municipal Magnificence
The engines that you will see were the heart of the water treatment works at Kempton Park in Middlesex, supplying North London with drinking water, taken from the Thames.
BIRTH: As first built in 1897, by the New River Company, the works had two holding reservoirs supplying 12 slow sand filter beds, using two Lilleshall Triple Expansion engines to lift water to the reservoirs, and three to pump to Cricklewood. Steam came from 6 hand fired Lancashire boilers. In 1915 a narrow gauge railway was constructed to deliver the coal. For more information about the Metropolitan Water Board Railway click here.
LIFE: In 1902 the company was acquired by the Metropolitan Water Board, who in 1928, completed the new engine house, including the two Worthington Simpson Triples which you see today. Two turbines and a water turbine were added in 1933. The D.C. electrical control board also survives. Each triple was of 1008 horsepower and pumped 19 million gallons per day against a 200 foot head. At 62 feet high, they are the largest built in the U.K. They ran 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Steam was provided by 6 moving-grate boilers. In 1963 the site employed 144 men, and delivered 86 million gallons per day.
RE-BIRTH: In 1995 the Trust was formed; by 2002 a new boiler house was built for the trust by Thames Water and the no 6 engine was running, sort of. On December 13th 2002, His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, inaugurated the museum.
Photographs from the 1930s