Historic steam engine comes to Brede

Pump 1
Pump 1

Two historic pieces Southern Water equipment have arrived at Brede Waterworks to be restored by enthusiasts.

A Bumstead and Chandler steam engine and electric pump, each weighing two tons, were collected from the company’s Otterbourne Water Supply Works near Eastleigh in Hampshire, by volunteers from The Brede Steam Engine Society.

They were transported back to the society’s base in Victorian and Edwardian buildings next to Southern Water’s Brede Water Supply Works where they will be restored to their former glory.

The steam engine, which is believed to be more than 70 years old, is likely to have been used to generate electricity while the electric pump, which is thought to be about 60 years old, would have been used to pump sediments collected in the purification of drinking water.

John Foxley, the society’s chairman, said: “Southern Water machines like these feature strongly in our collection and we are absolutely delighted to have the company’s continued support, especially with the transportation costs.

“The steam engine was seized up when it was delivered, however the Brede volunteers have already got the flywheel turning. It will be some time before we can get both engines fully restored though – the Brasso has yet to come out, we’re still using the WD40!”

John added: “We are always looking for new members with an interest in the water industry to join our ranks. Details can be found on our website.”

Paul Mayfield, Southern Water Operational Manager for Hampshire, said: “We are always happy to help John and his team of dedicated volunteers. They do a

fantastic job to help preserve the heritage of the water industry and I recommend a trip to Brede to see the wonderful examples of historic machinery which they have painstakingly restored.”

The Brede Steam Engine Society is a registered charity that has renovated and maintained historic pumps on Southern Water’s behalf.

Its growing collection includes several steam engines and many other historic water pumps and artefacts.

The buildings are leased to the society by Southern Water, which also supports the volunteers in their important work preserving the industry’s industrial heritage.

For more information on the society, visit www.bredesteamgiants.co.uk.