Sunday 28th September saw members of our club visit the Kempton Water Works Museum for one of its “In Steam” open days. An easy drive up the M3 to where it becomes the A316 and the magnificent art deco engine house is highly visible at the side of the road.
This was one of their weekends that included a classic car and motor cycle display with some wonderful examples of engineering of the four and two wheeled type. But this was nothing to compare with the “Wow” factor when entering the engine house and first seeing the gigantic triple expansion steam engines that pumped water to north London from 1928 until 1980. Two engines face each other with space between for the installation of a third one that did not materialise as technological advances meant that equivalent pumping power could be obtained by smaller engineering.
One of the engines has been fully restored and is described as the largest triple working in the world. The other is a static display which allows visitors to climb over the complete engine as part of a guided tour. Several of our members and their wives could be seen at the pinnacle of this wonderful example of British engineering. At a height of almost 63 feet and weighing 1000 tons the engines had to be completely assembled in situ. The three drive wheels each weighing over 32 tons had to be designed in two halves as there was a road weight limit of 16 tons.
Those members that went were completely impressed by what they saw. For those who did not make the trip they can get a feeling of what they missed by looking the web site www.kemptonsteam.org