Abbey Pump Station
and National Space Centre, Leicester.
Sunday the 11th of September saw a number of club
members heading north up the M1 to Leicester to visit
the Abbey Pumping Station and the National Space Centre. I had been to the NSC
myself not that long ago so I decided to visit the Pumping Station on their
Seaside Special Steam Day. The car park outside held a display of old Buses and
it transpired that the Leicester
Heritage Transport Trust were holding a
running day with their own and visiting busses and were giving trips around the
town. There were around 15 busses on site spanning around 50 years of Omnibus
transport from 1939. On entry to the Pump Station past the 80 ton RB steam
excavator I found that they had built a beach with sand and water and a mini
model yacht lake and soon enough the kids were messing around in the water and
building sand castles. The Abbey trust
is hoping to restore the excavator to running condition.
The pump house holds four massive steam engines that were
built around 150 years ago to pump sewage. Two of the engines were in steam and
the view at the top watching the massive beams gracefully rocking back and
forth is quite amazing.
There were plenty of other things to see around the site.
The narrow gauge steam loco was trundling around its track. A varied collection
of classic commercials cars and a couple of old scooters were on show next to
Fairground stalls. In one of the buildings on site which
houses a number of vehicles there were a number of model displays including
busses and a live steam model workshop, there was also a railway layout built
into a W & H Smith platform kiosk.. The museum had a fair bit of its own
transport collection on show ranging from Horse drawn delivery vans, a Mini van
and a 100 year old Leyland tower truck used for
repairing overhead tram cables. Also on show were a steamroller and a very
early diesel roller.
On the vehicle side of particular interest to me were a number of O series Bedford
trucks, including a Fish and Chip van with coal fired fryers and they were
selling chips at a £1 per portion. Other Bedford’s
included a breakdown truck and an Austin
beer lorry. (More conversion ideas).
All in all it was a good trip out and I would recommend the
Pumping station as a visit for anyone.