Monday, 20 August 2012

Summer Pootle Day 21: Pump and Circumstance

On Sunday, we visited the Museum of Fenland Drainage in Prickwillow. It doesn't sounds very exciting, but it was quite fun. They only run the engines a few times a year so we were lucky that today's running co-incided with our trip. They have several gigantic diesel engines which used to be used to pump water out of the Fens, and some nice displays about the history of the Fens. They run the engines in turn at half-hourly intervals.

We met Lesley and Joe of nb Yarwood in the cafe (which appears to be run by the wives of the Men With Beards who work the engines) and had a chat before going up to see them start the Vickers Petter semi-diesel engine (that's the big red 2 cylinder one). It had to be started with a couple of blowtorches to get the bulbs glowing red hot.

Here's a video of the huge Mirlees Engine being started on compressed air:

In the afternoon, we set off back upriver, to moor overnight at Waterbeach. We took the boat down to meet John, Alan, Monty John and his wife Susan , and later by Kev  and Debs from Avalon, at the Bridge pub for a few drinks before chugging back to the GOBA moorings for the night.

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