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Papplewick Pumping Station
Britain’s finest Victorian Waterworks

News from 2017 from Papplewick Pumping Station

Winter Steaming with Christmas Fair - December 9/10 (Saturday / Sunday) 2017

Facebook post for the event:

1940s Weekend - October 21 / 22 (Saturday / Sunday) 2017

Later Summer, September 16 / 17 (Saturday / Sunday) 2017

Craft Fair, August 27 / 28 (Sunday / Monday) 2017

Steampunk Day at Papplewick, July 9th 2017

News from 2016 from Papplewick Pumping Station

Annual Papplewick Pumping Station Trust Public Lecture, Wednesday 9th November 2016, 6.00

We are delighted to announce that Professor Jonathan Drori, CBE joins us to present the 6th Annual Papplewick Pumping Station Trust Public Lecture, entitled 'The Secret Life of Trees'.

Abstract: The Secret Life of Trees: Social networks? Neighbourhood Watch?
Woods have much in common with human communities but many of the extraordinary things trees do require special techniques to be revealed to us. They use sophisticated underground networks to carry signals and provisions. They advertise for sexual partners and enter into pacts with go-betweens. They defend themselves and their communities, sometimes even commandeering mercenaries to ward off attack. They even send food to needy neighbours. A forest is full of chatter and trade, if only we could sense it, and water is literally at the root of it all.

Biography: Professor Jonathan Drori, CBE has dedicated his career to media and learning. As the Head of Commissioning for BBC Online, he led the effort to create bbc.co.uk, the online face of the BBC. After almost two decades at the BBC, he is now a director at Changing Media Ltd., a media and education consultancy, and is a visiting professor at University of Bristol, where he studies educational media and misperceptions in science. He continues to executive produce the occasional TV series, including 2004's award-winning "The DNA Story" and 2009's "Great Sperm Race". He is on the boards of the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Woodland Trust.

Steam event at Papplewick: July 9th & 10th

Steam event at Papplewick May 29/30

May day 2016 Event

The Pumping Station had a great Easter steaming weekend on March 27/28 despite the mixed weather. The submarine festival ‘Dive-In to Papplewick’ was well attended by modellers and their splendid submarines. Thank you for putting on a fine display of models and thanks to Jan for the images! Attendance by the general public was high and we also trialled our first ticketing system for the reservoir tours, where tickets were bought in advance from the Superintendent’s House. This system worked very well and will be continued for subsequent steam events.

The submarine festival ‘Dive-In to Papplewick’

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News from 2015 from Papplewick Pumping Station


Great War Weekend - May 3, 4 2015


A model submarine event at Nottingham’s prestigious water pumping station April 5th 2015, 11am-5pm

Papplewick Pumping Station warmly invites owners and operators of radio controlled model submarines to attend our Steaming Easter event on Sunday the 5th of April - flyer

Press Release: 31-3-2015
New Chairman for Papplewick Pumping Station.

As a founder Trustee of Papplewick Pumping station 42 years ago and for the last 15 years Chairman, Geoffrey Bond OBE DL FSA has decided to retire in favour of a new Chairman and will take on an honorary role as President. During his time as Chairman Geoffrey has been responsible for developing strong relations between the Trust and the Papplewick Association, the members of which he regards as ‘gold dust’ in their huge support for the Trust. He also led the successful £2m Heritage Lottery funding bid culminating in major restoration works between 2003 and 2005 and also organised for the Trust to have its first paid Director, advancing the Trust into a new commercial era for the museum. Geoffrey also set up the Water Education Trust (WET) to carry many of the Trustees’ education programmes which together with the Universities of Nottingham and King’s College, University of London, is giving a national and potential international profile to the Trust.

The new Chairman, John Britten, has made his mark already in becoming one of the few Trustees to have learned how to operate the Pumping Station’s beam engines. He has had a successful career in the law as a former Partner in Actons Solicitors Nottingham and has a long held interest in engineering and vintage cars. John also has an interest in the history and working of Victorian steam engines and in the case of Papplewick, how it transformed Nottingham’s fresh water supply and health.

Geoffrey said ‘I would never have believed that when I was invited to assist with the formation of the Trust in 1972 by the late Sir Michael Nall that I would still be at the helm in 2015. Now it is time to hand over to a new Chairman and I am certain that in John Britten we have found someone well equal to the task of taking the Trust into the future, further developing WET and the building of our proposed new education and exhibition facility that will make the Trust financially sustainable. I thank all the Trustees and volunteers over the years that have supported me and I look forward to supporting the new Chairman in my role as President.

John Britten said ‘It is a great pleasure to be asked to take over from Geoffrey Bond. He will be a difficult man to follow but I am sure that with the help of my fellow Trustees we can sustain and develop the preservation of this fantastic Pumping Station for future generations’.

News from 2014 from Papplewick Pumping Station

Papplewick Annual Lecture, October 22nd, 5.30pm-7.30pm at the The Lakeside Arts Centre, University of Nottingham

Is There Enough For All of Us? Global Growth, Climate change and Food Security’. A lecture given by Dame Barbara Stocking, former CEO of Oxfam.

1940’s Weekend - October 18th Saturday / 19th Sunday, 2014

Papplewick in Steam: September 20th & 21st, 11am-5pm

The James Watt beam engines and Galloways boiler will be in steam along with the Linby Colliery Winding Engine and the miniature railway. The resident blacksmith, David Gill, will be working in the forge, children’s activities in the Learning Loft and of course we will be offering guided tours of the Pumping Station’s underground reservoir.

Papplewick Pumping Station presents: A War To End All Wars, August 25th & 26th, 11am-5pm

On August 24th & 25th Papplewick Pumping Station in association with Echoes of a Gilded Age will present a First World War steaming event with encampment, displays and performances commemorating the war of 1914-18.
The story unfolds over both days of the event from the outbreak of war to the horrors of the Somme in 1916 through drama, music, poetry, and original accounts. Visitors will also learn about the changes on the home front as women took over traditionally male roles in factories and on the land. A period encampment and hospital display plus costumes, artefacts and replicas will be set up at the Pumping Station with the beam engines in steam and reservoir tours also available. The event will involve comedy and family fun too, with interactive features for children but never forgetting that this was the war to end all wars.

click to view expanded flyer

The Pumping Station is pleased to announce that it will be participating in the BBC Radio Nottingham BIG DAY OUT on Sunday April 6th, 11am-2pm, 2014. To gain free entry you will need a print out of the BIG DAY OUT listings page which can be downloaded from here:

Papplewick’s Get WET Project

The Get WET education project has now come to an end and unfortunately we were not able to secure funding to continue the project further. However all of the work is now available to view at www.getwet.org.uk. It is hoped that all of the videos and information on the site will inspire other teachers and schools to undertake similar work and incorporate the teaching methods used in the project in their own lessons. Other education work is being pursued and the Trust is currently working with Dragon Breath Theatre to develop a water themed theatre-in-education programme for 2015, called A Crack In Time. A preview of the work can be viewed at the Station's YouTube channel here:

University of Nottingham logoEsmee Fairbairn logoGarfield Weston Foundation logo

News from 2013 from Papplewick Pumping Station

October 19th/20th (in steam)
Papplewick's annual 1940s weekend, full of civilian and military re-enactors, vehicles, displays, music and stalls.

News from 2012 from Papplewick Pumping Station

The Papplewick Annual Lecture
Water: A Victorian Vision and Today’s Reality
Lord Deben

Chair of the Committee on Climate Change
18.30 21 November 2012
A30, Arts Lecture Theatre*

Lord Deben was appointed Chair of the Committee on Climate Change in September 2012. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is an independent body established under the Climate Change Act to advise the Government on emissions targets, and to report to Parliament on progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

As an MP, senior member of the Cabinet and as Secretary of State for the Environment 1993-97, John Selwyn Gummer, Lord Deben, has had a distinguished record on the environment. He was described as the “best Environment Secretary we’ve ever had” by Friends of the Earth which welcomed his appointment: “We’re delighted by this appointment - Lord Deben has been a passionate champion of a thriving green economy for many years.”

The annual lecture is organised jointly by the Papplewick Pumping Station Trust and the Science Technology & Society priority group.

All welcome, but it is essential to book as places are limited.
To book go to: http://papplewick2012.eventbrite.com

For queries please contact Rosamund.aubrey@nottingham.ac.uk

There will be a wine reception at 18.00.

Venue: *The A30 lecture theatre is building number 50 on the University Park map and is part of the Lakeside Arts Complex, next to the museum – access is via the front of the building only.

October 20th/21st (in steam)
Papplewick's annual 1940s weekend, full of civilian and military re-enactors, vehicles, displays, music and stalls.

click for pdf of this flyer

September 23rd (in steam)
Visit by Nottinghamshire TVR car club - further info

The Black Pig Border Morris dance team

August 27th (in steam)
Face painting by Dawn Shacklock of Funtastic Faces and balloon modelling, juggling and circus skills by Steve Pike. Fun for all the family!

July 15th (in steam)
RNLI Model Boat exhibition in the grounds and on the Cooling Pond.

BBC Radio Nottingham’s Big Day Out

Papplewick Pumping Station is participating in Radio Nottingham’s Big Day Out on Sunday April 22nd. Admission to the Station will be free for those who have a voucher printed from the BBC Radio Nottingham website:

News from 2011 from Papplewick Pumping Station

Back to the ‘40s at Papplewick Pumping Station!

The Pumping Station is once again host to the now very popular 1940s Celebration weekend on October 22nd and 23rd, 2011 - flyer

Rolls-Royce & Bentley Enthusiasts Club gathering

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Scenes from the 1940s re-enactmanet of 2011 - click image for slide-show

The event will feature over two hundred invited Second World War re-enactors in military and civilian costume, displays of 1940s cars and vehicles, wartime musical performances from Dickie Lines and Kevin Mack, mock battles and Robert Burns, Englans’s greatest Winston Churchill impersonator. There will also be stalls selling period clothing and memorabilia and much more.

The Pumping Station’s famous 1884 James Watt beam engines will also be in operation on both days along with the former Linby Colliery Winding engine and a miniature railway. There will also be a host of activities for children of all ages.

“This is the fourth year we have held a 1940s event at the Pumping Station” said Museum Director Ashley Smart. “This year’s event is going to be bigger than ever, we will be celebrating all branches of the armed forces and civilian organisations. It will be an exciting, informative and action packed day for all the family including mock battles and individual displays throughout the grounds of the site. There will be musical entertainment throughout including singing from Dickie Lines and Kevin Mack. The re-enactors are incredibly detailed in their portrayal of the war years so it should be like stepping back in time.”

The event organisers are confident for a very successful weekend, said a spokesman “We have acted in many 1940s events throughout the whole country and the Pumping Station is the most unique location I have ever attended. Everyone attending will be given a FREE identity card, ration book and badges etc (subject to availability). Refreshments and FREE car parking will also be available throughout the day.”

The 1940s weekend will take place on Saturday October 22nd and Sunday 23rd, 11am - 5pm. Admission charges apply with a £1 discount for those in 1940s costume (click here to be taken to view full list of admission charges). Re-enactors in all types of 1940s military and civilian clothing are welcome to attend the event.

Note: vintage vehicles must be pre-booked due to limitations of space on site.

Song and Dance at Papplewick Pumping Station Sept 24th & 25th

This Sunday Papplewick Pumping Station will be celebrating harvest with performances by the Radcliffe on Trent Male Voice Choir and the Black Pig Border Morris dance team. The fifty strong choir, who perform a variety of music and styles, are particularly looking forward to the event, “the Engine House has superb acoustics, very similar to a church. The choir will sound fantastic inside” said Concert Secretary Rod Haslam. The Black Pig Border Morris will also be performing their special, high energy Border Morris dances. “It is a very vigorous form of Morris dancing using sticks and bells that is traditionally performed during the winter months” said a spokesperson. “It is quite a spectacle to witness a Border Morris performance especially with our costumes and painted faces to help ward off the evil sprits!”

The choir will be performing two half sets in the Engine House at 12:45pm and 2:30pm while the Black Pig Border Morris will be dancing in the grounds at 12:15pm, 2pm and 3:15pm. There will also be classic vehicle display by the Daimler & Lanchester Owners Club.

On the Saturday there will be workshops and life saving demonstrations by the Linby and Hucknall St John Ambulance as part of the nationwide Save A Life campaign to teach people the valuable skills of resuscitation.

The James Watt beam engines, miniature railway, Linby Colliery winding engine will all be in steam and tours to the underground reservoir will be available subject to weather.

The Station will be open from 12pm-5pm on Saturday Sept 24th and from 11am-5pm on Sunday 25th.

The Black Pig Border Morris dance team

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Gill Rippingale, art exhibition, September 2011

Gill Rippingale: artist

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August steaming fun at Papplewick Pumping Station, Aug 28/29 - flyer

The Station will be in full steam this Bank Holiday August Sunday and Monday including trips down our underground reservoir. On Monday there will be a host of family entertainment including Steve Pike aka Dangerous Dave who will performing a variety of juggling, unicycle and circus skills around the site between 11am-3pm; and there will also be an opportunity to get your face expertly painted by Dawn Shadlock of Funtastic Faces. For more information on Steve please see the website:

An excellent feature on Thomas Hawksley and Papplewick Pumping Station was shown on the BBC East Midlands Today programme on August 16th. The clip is the first TV broadcast to feature our underground reservoir, which can be visited on Steam weekends. Our next steaming is August 28th & 29th from 11am.

To watch the clip, presented by John Holmes, click on the link:

The perfect way to spend a mid summer weekend!

Papplewick Pumping Station was visited by the Rolls-Royce & Bentley Enthusiasts Club on the 17th of July. Click thumbnail below to view a range of images from this occasion.

Rolls-Royce & Bentley Enthusiasts Club gathering

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Looking down our 200ft well at the Pumping Station. This was taken on July 4th when the well underwent a visual survey.

Papplewick well survey

This is a view looking down the Pumping Station’s 200ft well taken during a recent visual survey in July. Just visible is one of two Rising Mains (cast iron pipe) that would have contained a pump rod connected to one of the Station’s James Watt beam engines used for lifting the water up to the surface. The well is 18ft x 7ft wide and oval shaped; it was dug using hand implements by a specialist firm from London. The survey is part of a project to cap the well and replace the very rotten wood flooring that covers the well head. We are hoping to have some video footage of the survey on the website soon that will show images at the bottom of the well under the water, so watch this space!

Papplewick Pumping Station as featured on The Antiques Road Trip, filmed in May 2011 and originally transmitted in September of the same year. Special thanks to the BBC and STV for allowing us to use this footage.

News from 2010 from Papplewick Pumping Station

The First Annual Papplewick Pumping Station Annual Lecture, held on 3 November 2010, was hosted by the University of Nottingham and Adam Hart-Davis presented a lively lecture entitled ‘Wet behind the Engineers’.

A digital recording of this lecture in mp3 format (56 Kb) is available to download here:

Further information on the lecture viewable here:

Police & Fire Event, July 2010

Notts Police & Fire Service Event

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Heritage Lottery fund supported
Papplewick Pumping Station is an Accredited museum
Quality assured visitor attraction