Steam museum joy at lottery grant

£250,000 to restore historic museum

THE Kew Bridge Steam Museum has received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant for nearly £250,000 to restore and develop the listed site.

Works, commencing soon, will take nearly two years to complete, and will focus on the restoration of the Grade I listed Engine House (1836-8) and the adjacent Grade II listed Electric House.

The buildings, currently in a poor state of repair, will be made watertight, conserving both the buildings, the engines and exhibits inside.

As well as ensuring the long-term preservation of these buildings, the work will greatly improve access to the site.

In addition to structural work, the project will also improve the museum as a learning resource, further opening it up to the public and maximising the benefit to the local community.


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A detailed interpretative display will, for the first time, highlight the historical importance of the engines and give visitors a chance to 'drive' a working model of the oldest engine on site.

There will also be new display areas in the museum to bring its history to life, and interactive displays designed to enhance the visitor experience for all, particularly for school groups.

The museum is housed in a magnificent 19th Century Pumping Station, and the buildings to be restored contain three of the museum's oldest engines, including the 1820 Boulton and Watt engine and the unique Bull engine, the last complete survivor of its kind in the world.

The scheme will also improve access to the building for visitors with special needs by providing a new ramped access and through RNIB approved and trained tactile tour guides.

Once the works have been completed, it will take a year for the building to dry, during which time other project activities will be put in place before opening to the public in 2006.

These include a public consultation and pre-view days, implementation of a volunteer training plan and extra education activities.

As well as the museum staff, at least six volunteers will contribute more than 170 days to lead the building works, redecorate the interior of the two buildings, and install DVD and CCTV interpretation systems.

Lesley Bossine, Museum Director said; "Kew Bridge Steam Museum is such an important heritage resource in Brentford and the surrounding area, both for local people and visitors, offering a wealth of history that covers almost 200 years.

"This will be a very long, but much needed project. We are very pleased to receive the Heritage Lottery funding and look forward to seeing the works completed and the benefits passed on to improve the visitors' experience."

Sue Bowers, HLF's Manager in London, added; "This is a great project that will provide a much needed resource for the museum, creating a fully functional exhibition area and enabling the display of the electrical collections for the first time.

"The development of innovative learning programmes provides an inspired approach that will really enhance the museum's facilities and open it to the widest possible audience."

How to find the steam museum: In Green Dragon Lane, Brentford, Middlesex about 100 yards from the north side of Kew Bridge under the tall Victorian tower. Nearest motorway M4 (turn off at junction 2 signposted to Kew Gardens and north/south circular roads), down to Chiswick
roundabout, then pick up signs for Kew, Brentford and Hounslow. Turn right to Brentford
at traffic lights before Kew Bridge. Click here for a map.

Admission: Weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays (engines in steam).Adults.£5.20 Concessions:
£4.20 Children (5-15 years). £3.00 Family Ticket: £15.95
Children under the age of 13 years must be accompanied by an adult

How to reach the Museum by public transport: Buses: 65, 237, 267, 391. Main Line Trains: Kew
Bridge (South West Trains from Waterloo via Clapham Junction). Gunnersbury (North London
Line) then 237 or 267 bus. London Underground: Gunnersbury (District Line) then 237 or 267
bus). South Ealing (Piccadilly Line) the 65 bus.

Further Information: Telephone the museum: 020 8568 4757 Fax: 020 8569 9978 or visit

Aug 22 2004

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