Kew Bridge Engines Trust
Who We Are?
The Kew Bridge Engines Trust and Water Supply Museum Limited, a registered charity, was formed in 1973 with three primary aims:
- To restore to steam the five historic beam engines at the former Grand Junction Water Works Company's Kew Bridge Pumping Station.
- Add other important water pumping engines.
- Establish a museum of London's water supply.
Although the museum has a small paid staff, most of the people visitors meet during a visit are volunteers, who are involved in all areas of the museum operation and play a vital role. Members of the Trust are welcome to join the volunteer team.
The museum is an independent museum and despite international support and recognition is not underwritten financially by any external authority or individual. Thus from its inception the museum has relied on public donations, visitor admission fees and selective commercial activities to raise revenue to ensure it is able to preserve the site and its collections for the benefit of future generations.
By joining the museum Trust you can contribute to that future whilst at the same time enjoying unlimited free visits plus a range of other benefits, such as receiving our quarterly newsletter, Kew News, free of charge as well as a 10% discount on selected museum merchandise.
What Have We Achieved So Far?
Since 1975 we have completed:
The restoration of four of the five Cornish steam pumping engines, the earliest dating back to 1820, which were built for the pumping station supplying water to West London until 1944. These colossal engines make up the largest single group of their type in the world. The Grand Junction 90 inch beam engine is the world's largest working beam engine; the Bull engine is the largest of it's type and the only engine surviving in it's original location in the world.
The collection and restoration of other types of water pumping machinery including steam and internal combustion engines and a waterwheel.
Building the "Water For Life Gallery", a permanent exhibition exploring London's water supply from the Roman occupation to the modern Thames Water Ring Main.
Building the waterworks steam railway, which demonstrates the important role railways played within the industry.
Established an archive covering steam and water related topics; an educational service for both adults and children; and a lively annual events programme.
- Built and now operate a Wren class locomotive, "Thomas Wicksteeed".
In 1997 the museum was awarded an Engineering Heritage Hallmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME International) and Britain's Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
In 2006 the musuem won the Classic Award at the Museums & Hetitage awards for Excellence
In 2008, the musuem won it's second Engineering Hallmark award from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers for the restoration of the Bull engine, making the museum one of only 12 sites to achieve more than one Engineering Hallmark award.