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The Gimson Beam Engines

The main building on the site houses the four massive Gimson beam engines, which have all now been restored to full working order. At various special events throughout the year one or more of the engines are steamed for the public to observe. Originally built in Leicester in 1891 for the purpose of pumping sewage to a new treatment works at Beaumont Leys, off Anstey Lane. The engines worked until 1964, when electric pumps started to take over their duties.  It finally closed on completion of the new sewage works at Wanlip.

Flushed with Pride

The history and science of public health in Leicester, using historic exhibits. These include Victorian toilets, Roman water pipes and a working water pump powered by a paraffin engine. There is also a unique interactive toilet with a see-through bowl and cistern, where the journey of an object can be followed from flush to drain.

The Narrow Gauge Railway

The railway did not appear until the building of the Electric Pump House and the extensive new settling tanks in 1926. Originally the line was supplied with a small Simplex petrol locomotive, which was previously used by the council for civil engineering works in lowering Saffron Lane to eliminate the level crossing on the Midland Railway main line. In 2003 the museum secured on long term loan the ex-Birmingham, Tame & Rea District Drainage Board steam locomotive “Leonard”. The loco has been restored by our volunteers to full working order and is regularly used to haul passenger trains.

Ruston Bucyrus Steam Shovel type 52B

Standing guard at the museum entrance is the mighty steam shovel, built in 1935 by Ruston-Bucyrus Ltd. of Lincoln. It is one of a very few steam shovels still in existence. Originally supplied to Alpha Cement Ltd, Kidlington, Oxford and was presented to the Abbey Pumping Station in 1972 by Mr W. H. McAlpine. The steam shovel was restored at the museum and was regularly demonstrated until 1995. It now awaits funds for boiler repairs and a general overhaul which on completion it is hoped that it will thrill visitors to the musuem once again.

The Electric Pump House

A view of the 1926 Electric Pump House under construction.  A gallery of many images of Abbey Pumping Station is under way and will be shown here.

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