Our Galleries

Steam Engines Gallery

The Steam Gallery contains the impressive Basford Beam Engine. This is one of a pair of engines built in 1858 by R. W. Hawthorn in Newcastle upon Tyne. It was installed at Basford Pumping Station to lift water 110 ft from the sandstone below to supply fresh water to the City of Nottingham. The engine was replaced in 1965 and was removed to the purpose built Steam Gallery where it was first fired in 1975.

Also to be found in this building today are a large variety of pumps and engines many of which were removed from local companies. The work of Manlove Alliotts and Co Ltd and Readers , two long established Nottingham companies can be seen in this gallery. Manlove Alliotts were originally in Lenton before moving to Radford and made a bespoke range of hospital laundry apparatus amongst other things. Readers started life in the 1830ís by patenting a machine that separated the hide from the fleece of sheep skins but went on to make a variety of engines used in local industry.

At the bottom end of the gallery stand two impressive ploughing engines. These have consecutive registration numbers and were the last two production engines to come out of Fowlers Leeds Foundry. They were the property of Nottingham City Council and worked, ploughing in the treated sewage, at the large dairy farm at Stoke Bardolph.

Also in this gallery is the telephone exchange. This is a small example of an automatic exchange and visitors like to use the adjacent telephones to dial each other and watch the components within the exchange as they whirr round to make the connections.

In the many cabinets surrounding this gallery are to be found items relating to mining, transport and steam in general.

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