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Tuesday 14th - A rare treat
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Ian Bull

Posts: 59
Joined: Jan 2009
Post: #1
11-08-2012 03:08 AM

Hullo everyone,

Could SE23 have been developed without sewers? Probably not. Our Victorian forebears realised that and sent a main drainage network Eastwards, making today's South London possible in its wake. At the sewer's end they had to build an almighty steam pumping station capable of lifting almost half a million tons of sewerage each day. Virtually forgotten, it's still there.

Between 10.30 and 16.00 on Tuesday 14th there's a rare open day at that almost unknown building and it leaves the visitor gasping for words.

Crossness pumping station contains the finest decorative iron interior in Southern England and four of the largest steam engines built in the Victorian period. On Tuesday one of them, the largest of its type ever constructed, will be working.

A visit on Tuesday would be particularly worthwhile as very few are expected to attend. The 'atmosphere' of the structure when one is near solitary is something to behold.

You can get a 'taster' by clicking this.

General information here...

It's not easy to get to but If you can visit, it will be a day you'll not forget rapidly!

All the best

Ian Bull

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Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
11-08-2012 04:24 PM

Thanks for the heads up on this, though sadly will be able to attend. I have been to Crossness, many years ago, and would heartily back up the recommendation. It is a grade 1 listed building - a true cathedral to the industrial age, prosaic yet beautiful and a visible reminder of every Londoner's debt to Bazalgette.

I didn't see the engines operating though as they were still being restored when I went. Thinking about the mammoth proportions of the pistons alone, I would expect this to be quite a spectacle.

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Ian Bull

Posts: 59
Joined: Jan 2009
Post: #3
11-08-2012 04:55 PM

Yes lacb, it is quite spectacular! For those interested in visiting and who haven't found the address on the Crossness Engines website...

The Crossness Engines Trust
The Old Works
Thames Water S.T.W.
Belvedere Road
Abbey Wood

Tel: 0208 311 3711

I should point out that there will be a 5 admission charge but I assure you, you won't regret a penny.

Railway enthusiasts may like to know that the ex Royal Arsenal steam locomotive 'Woolwich' is under restoration at Crossness and visitors are welcome to inspect the components and meet the friendly team who are working on her.

All the best


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Posts: 555
Joined: May 2010
Post: #4
11-08-2012 07:37 PM

The building takes part in the Open House weekend in September so if you want to see it and not the engine then its worth bearing in mind.

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Ian Bull

Posts: 59
Joined: Jan 2009
Post: #5
11-08-2012 09:19 PM

The building will indeed be taking part in Open House but that's the day it can get just a little too popular for comfort! Admission to the site is free on Tuesday, the 5 is only if you want to see inside the engine house. (Everyone does!)

Best - Ian

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