Move over Kew as Steam Museum opens new garden

Lottery heritage grant for Thomas Layton collection

Move over Kew Gardens! is the cry from the Kew Bridge
Steam Museum, as it announces the opening of a new garden in the grounds of the old water pumping station. Due to open to the public on Thursday 23 June, the newly developed garden will treble the current seating capacity allowing more people to enjoy pic-nics, or simply a place to sit and take in the views
during their visit.

The garden is located on what was originally part of
the sand washing complex when the site was still a working waterworks. Museum volunteer and
passionate gardener, Margaret Porter, designed the garden, incorporating the remains of the sand washers and adding a formal memorial garden, in memory
of volunteers and one of the museum trustees. The garden also has a wildflower area and various outdoor sculptures including
the Hammersmith beam (all that remains of a Cornish beam engine built in 1853 for the Grand Junction Waterworks Company's pumping station at Hammersmith). The garden railings were designed and made by Shelley Thomas, one of the resident blacksmiths, the design being inspired by the shape and detailing of the Hammersmith beam.

With the school summer holidays just around the corner, now is the perfect time to come down and explore what the museum has on offer for family entertainment. There's no excuse not to come down with free entry for children under sixteen* and a great selection of free workshops and discovery sessions lined up including; Victorian washday activities 9 August, plus a host of historic characters inhabiting the museum at the
weekends; 18 & 19 June, 2 & 3 July, and every Wednesday in August; 3, 10, 17
and 24, as well as the Festival of Model Tramways on July 23 & 24. The museum's horse-gin and waterwheel will also be in action on selected afternoons, please contact the museum for more information.

Lesley Bossine, Director of the Museum said: " We are thrilled at how beautiful the garden is now looking. With summer just arriving, this couldn't have happened at a better time for the museum.
Now our visitors have the option of bringing a pic-nic with them and enjoying the surroundings or simply watching the steam railway doing its rounds on a Sunday."

In 1838, when the pumping station opened, water was pumped directly from the river Thames at Kew Bridge. No attempt to clean the water was made until 1845, when the first filter bed was constructed to the west of the site. Water was filtered through sand, a process invented by
James Simpson, which trapped organisms and particles in the water as it trickled down. After
time, the sand would need to be cleaned and, the new garden area, was one of several places on the site where sand washers were placed. You can find out more about how slow sand filtration works in the Water For Life Gallery in the museum.

Principal funders of the project are the Norlands Foundation and the Clegg family as well as a number of individuals who have donated smaller sums of money and plants.

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.£6 Concessions:
£5 Children (5-15 years) Free
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

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