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Sunday, 1 January 2012

Rangers Ride 1st January

A familiar face greeted us as we arrived at the Clay Mills Pumping Station today on our New Year's Day Rangers Ride.  Didn't expect to see him again until next Christmas!
It was a rare opportunity to see the giant Victorian steam engines running, and there were many other fascinating sights to be seen from a bygone age (apart from us that is).
Lots of old fashioned smoke, steam and that wonderful smell of coal, hot water, fire and oil which is seldom encountered these days.
Besides the giant beam engines which used to pump all the sewage away from Burton, there were several smaller engines "in steam" and a display of vintage motor cars in the yard outside.
High above, the lofty brick chimney puffed out clouds of  black smoke over Burton just as others used to do many years ago, and hot steam was ejected into the atmosphere from various pipes and leaky joints. See video below - click bottom right for full screen.

Peter Ford, Nick Potter and I had started from Mickleover, meeting Mavis Ratcliffe at Etwall and Shawn Brotherhood at Egginton.
En route to Clay Mills we checked the security of the Sustrans Milepost at the Derbyshire/Staffordshire boundary on the River Dove bridge and the signing on the new Stretton canal side path. This was found wanting and so Shawn applied an additional self adhesive R54 sign  (see photo right).

Entry to the Pumping Station was £5 (£4 concessions) and the food in the cafe was very reasonably priced.  Entry to the site is free on none-steaming days and well worth a visit.

Inside the buildings the mighty machinery was a sight to behold, a credit to it's Victorian designers and to the gang of volunteers who, in more recent times, have lovingly restored it to working order.
Note the tiny humans in the bottom left hand corner of this video.

And not forgetting the other sights to be seen  ..................................

A fine quarter (?) scale model traction engine (above) and below, a Morgan three wheeler car, not only older than me, but in better condition.

And finally, a notice photographed in the gents toilet.
I should add that I don't normally take photographs in such places.

Apologies to musicians everywhere.  How they have come on since Victorian times!
So much better than vagrants, beggars, and females of doubtful character - not that I am familiar with any of those.


Anonymous said...

A great day out and plenty to see. Hope to return tomorrow with our grandchildren.

BirdyRed said...

The first ride, the first wetting and (in my case) the first puncture. All before the year was 15 hours old. Can't be bad.
On a technical note, the steam pressure was down to 20psi when I visited the boiler house. Their coal is a mixture of Thoresby colliery and Polish coal and it had "clinkered up".