A Steaming Success!

A Steaming Success!

Sunday 5th February saw Middleport Pottery host it’s first Steam & Stew event, an opportunity to have a ‘closer look’ at how the recently restored William Boulton* engine once powered the Model Pottery.

It was an early start for our steam engine engineers, Phil Wright, Phil Knott, Mark Booth & Ernie Bunting who arrived early doors to ensure all was ready for the visitors’ arrival – It takes 2-3 hours to get the engine ‘up-to-steam’! Afternoon’s activities included an insightful talk about the engine’s history, restoration and future, followed by a behind-the-scenes peek at the mechanics, drive shafts and adjoining machinery. In the Slip House (slip = liquid clay) the participants saw how the engine kept the slip from solidifying . The engine was a crucial addition to the design of the “Model Pottery”, a pioneering engineering project that was to ‘modernise’ the production of ceramics.

The event ended with a hearty bowl of Stew and Dumplings and a further Q&A with the engineers. We had some great feedback from the participants, who included visitors from Claymills Victorian Pumping Station in Burton;

“Loved Steam & Stew – so interesting”

“Love the way the site had not been over-restored”

Huge thanks to the volunteers for their time and commitment – experts in their field! We look forward to Steam & Stew take 2!

*We believe that this is the only William Boulton Steam Engine in existence. A fully restored example of a late Victorian, horizontal engine.