WESTONZOYLAND ENGINE TRUST
History of the Trust
The original pumping station operated from the 1830's right up until 1951, when a new station was built close by. It fell into disrepair for the next 25 years, until a group of members from the Somerset Industrial Archaeology Society decided to move in and tackle the repair work. This was the beginning of the Westonzoyland Engine Trust. Wessex Water gave permission for access and repairs to the Easton and Amos pumping engine, which allowed the members to fire it up and run it, on occasions.
Through the 1970's and 1980's, the Trust put together a museum of steam power and land drainage, including various engines and pumps brought onto the site from other locations.
Wessex Water still owned the site, but the Trust purchased it from them in 1990.
Extensive repairs were carried out to the 71' high chimney, cottage roofs and engine house, which come under the Grade 2* listed buildings category. Trust members built a new exhibition hall in the 1980's, which now houses the cafe & gift shop, plus a number of steam-powered engines in the adjoining section.
There are many ongoing restoration projects and maintenance works to be done. The Trust has purchased part of an adjoining field, which will allow for future expansion. Improvements in facilities for visitors have just been completed within an extension to the modern exhibition block; and eventually restoration work on rooms in the keeper's cottage. Overall, the pumping station aims to display a history of Somerset land drainage and include steam-powered engines which were once active in both local industry and further afield.
HAVE SOME SPARE TIME?
The Trust aims to encourage people to learn about the restoration, running and care of the engines and other exhibits. Besides the machinery, work on the buildings is also essential. The original engine house and keeper's accommodation are still in need of considerable restoration, as are the attached single-storey boiler house and forge. Some administrative skills are needed to apply for and obtain grants, for the listed buildings. The others need regular maintenance, such as roofs, tiles, windows, painting, and so on. Work around the grounds is also essential, keeping weeds down, trimming grass, pruning shrubs, maintaining fences etc.
For those who don't fancy being engineers, there are plenty of other possibilities. Helping with ticket sales and book sales at the front desk; serving tea and cake to visitors in the cafe; and less glamorous jobs such as cleaning floors, windows and shelves.
The Trust particularly wants to encourage membership from people who may one day be considered for taking roles on the committee. The future of this museum rests not only with volunteers willing to work on the machines, but also people who are efficient planners, thinkers, organisers and motivators.
To find out more information on becoming a member or you have a question about volunteering please email j
Become a Member
The Trust is independent, relying on income from entrance fees, donations, sales and members along with specific project grants. The Trust receives no continual public funding and is run entirely by volunteers. Its members have been vital to its success supporting us for over 30 years. Become a member today and help us continue our work. In return you will receive free entry to the museum's steaming days, get 10% off in the gift shop and receive quarterly copies of the Trust's magazine 'Condensation'.
You can join the Trust by filling out our online form here and completing payment by bank transfer or setting up a standing order. Alternatively print out the form here and send with your payment to the Membership Secretary.
You will receive a joining pack which contains a complimentary copy of our guide book, past copies of Condensation magazine (depending upon availability) including the latest copy, a museum leaflet and your membership card.
Senior Couple £14