The Victorian steam pumping museum at Crossness in southeast London has confirmed its reopening details, and tickets are now on sale.
Crossness was built as part of the Bazalgette sewer upgrades across London to deal with the sickness and pollution caused by sewage, and at Crossness, a huge pumping station was built.
Its function was simply to lift the sewage up from the deep sewers to sea level so that it could be discharged into the Thames far from where people lived. As the Victorian buildings stopped serving that function a long time ago, when a much more hygienic plant was built next door, the site is now open occasionally to visitors.
There are four huge steam engines, with three being restored, so on visitor days, the big restored beam engine is put back into action doing what all good steam engines do, which is generate lots of steam, noise and hissing.
A recent upgrade of the side rooms has added a larger museum exhibit as well, and most of the site that’s still waiting to be restored is open to wander around, so you can see it in the raw state.
The first steaming day in over a year takes place on Sunday 23rd May – and tickets are available from here.
The nearest railway station is Abbey Wood.
It’s a modest 20-30 minute walk to the pumping station, with the last few hundred yards on their new light railway. There are local buses, but they only go part of the way, and by the time you’ve waited for the bus, you’ve probably only saved 5 minutes anyway.
Visitors are advised to wear appropriate clothing for exploring a pumping station including flat shoes.