Abbey Wood pumping station aiming for prosperous future

11:40 13 August 2012

Crossness Pumping Station

Crossness Pumping Station

Archant

How much do we know about our local history? Almost 150 years of it is on your doorstep at Abbey Wood’s Crossness Pumping Station and it is the jewel in the crown of the Industrial Revolution

Crossness
Oiling is Ray FlemingCrossness Oiling is Ray Fleming

The steam-powered Victorian water pumping station sits by the side of The Thames in Belvedere Road borne from the idea of civil engineer Joseph Bazalgette in 1865.

Due to open next year is the Great Stink exhibition. The title refers to the summer of 1858, when a hot summer and polluted Thames convinced Mr Bazalgette that the river needed cleaner water.

It will feature a display cabinet of artefacts and interactive screens which can be modified and updated over the next few years.

Project manager Simon Hodges, one of the volunteers keeping the historical site running, said: “It’s important that places like this are treasured. I live in Abbey Wood and was born and grew up in Plumstead so the local history is very important. We can learn things for how we live today.”

Crossness volunteer Simon HodgesCrossness volunteer Simon Hodges

But £1m of Heritage Lottery funding earmarked for the exhibition showing a key part of the history of the site has been put on hold because there is no satisfactory access road. Visitors have to enter the site via Thamesmead Golf Course.

It is an unwelcome disruption but Thames Water has agreed to pay for the road and has assured Crossness there will not be complications. However it could mean the exhibition is delayed.

Mr Hodges is praying it’s only a hurdle and if the funding does go ahead there are prospects for the station to bring employment to the area.

“The money might necessitate employing a couple of full-time members of staff and the station will need a site manager,” he explains.

The point of the pumping station was to scoop sewage from the Thames and pump it into the outgoing tide. Alongside opening on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, it holds about half a dozen steaming days a year so visitors can get a feel for the pumping station in action.

In addition, an education pod was built in 2011. The Victorian age plays a key part in school history curriculums and Crossness gives children the chance to experience it first hand.

Once opened, the paid-for exhibition will bring in much needed revenue for the pumping station. But first there are surveys, consultations and planning applications to be submitted.

Mr Hodges remains optimistic that the Heritage Lottery funding will come through to give Crossness a new lease of life for future generations.

“The lottery funding will help us develop and turn into a fully-fledged museum. Hardly anything has been preserved from the Industrial Revolution and we need to keep this going,” he says.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

We couldn’t have played it better ourselves.

Read more

Murray’s emotions were clear as Novak Djokovic took a victory that had looked in real doubt.

Read more

Includes a ‘Reasons I want to marry Harry Styles’ journal. You have been warned.

Read more

Promoted content

Valentine's Day Afternoon Tea

London Hilton on Park Lane is inviting couples to celebrate this Valentines Day over a deliciously romantic afternoon tea at Podium Restaurant and Bar. Taking inspiration from the highly popular Confessions of a Chocoholic Afternoon Tea, London Hilton on Park Lane presents the ultimate romantic afternoon out with its Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea.

Established in 1987, Tucci is one of the North's premier stores for branded clothing, footwear and accessories.

Save up to 70% on designer brands for Men and Women, including G-Star, Diesel, French Connection, Firetrap and many more….our sale is now on.

Nothing says

iWOOT has a great selection of quirky Valentine’s Day gifts for every possible person and partner.

People thought the Deputy Prime Minister was pretty funny actually.

Brothers: The David Haines Story, will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland at 10.30am on Sunday.

Over £30,000 has been raised in a couple of days for a mugging victim, despite the goal only being set at £500.

TOP Stories

37 minutes ago
Brian Lucking was jailed for four years after sexually assaulting a 6-year-old boy in the toilets of a McDonalds restaurant in Kings Cross (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

A man who followed a six-year-old boy into the toilets at a McDonalds in King’s Cross and sexually assaulted him has been jailed for four years.

Federica Boscolo-Gnolo appeared in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday charged with murdering her baby daughter (Picture: Google)

A 31-year-old Italian woman appeared in court on Saturday morning charged with murdering her baby daughter after telling police the infant had gone missing from a hotel in west London.

Police were called to Erebus Drive this morning after reports of gunshots (Picture: Google)

Police have arrested 11 people in connection with a fatal shooting in south east London after officers were called to Thamesmead in the early hours of this morning.

London Bloggers

Monday, December 22, 2014
Around 25 per cent of the population self-identity as having no religion yet still enjoy the fun of Christmas (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

It’s Christmas time. We know this by the light-adorned streets, the mobility hazard posed by boxes of Quality Street, Roses and Celebrations in every supermarket’s entrance and, of course, the incessant radio-plays of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
The main room at the Museum of Comedy (Pic: Steve Ullathorne)

This week I visited the Museum of Comedy located at the corner of Museum Street and Bloomsbury Way in the crypt under St George’s Church.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Bird Lovegod

I genuinely and honestly have only a slight problem when it comes to buying domain names.