Jun 29, 2014Eastney Beam Engine House, Portsmouth

Eastney Beam Engine House
Eastney Beam Engine House

Vacation Day 25 – Visit to Eastney Beam Engine House

I’ve no idea how many times I’ve visited this place over the years. It was a regular favorite to bring the boys to when they were younger, and my dad worked here as a volunteer.

What were these magnificent engines for?
… Pumping waste water (sewage).

Lack of funding caused the place to be closed before I left Portsmouth in 2008, and I was very glad to hear it was open again. Unfortunately, the intervening years have left their mark, and there’s now a lot of rust and decay. The place used to be so well maintained and once a month one of the engines was brought up to steam. There was talk about that happening again once the boilers have been re-built and safety inspected. The other engine could be driven by an electric motor, just so that people could get an idea of the majesty of these fantastic pieces of engineering without the need to fire up the boilers. They tried to run the electric drive while we were there and I’m sad to say it didn’t work.

Despite my disappointment with the run-down condition of the beam engines, I was most surprised to find out that the Gas Engine house was open. I’ve not seen those in 25-35 years.

Copyright © 2014 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

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