Sparks fly as repair work starts on Crofton’s boiler
The coal-fired boiler generates the steam the powers the world’s oldest working beam engines, which pump water from Crofton Water up to the canal’s highest level – the section between Crofton and Burbage, which was above any reliable local water source.
The work to repair the boiler will take three weeks, during which time corroded rivets will be cut out and replaced by specialists from Keighley-based H A McEwen Ltd.
The boiler will then be pressure tested and the brickwork restored, ready to receive visitors in April.
Peter Turvey, chairman of the Crofton branch of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, which owns and operates the pumping station, said: “Thanks to funding from the Pewsey, Marlborough, and Devizes area boards, generous donors, and the efforts of our volunteers we have been able to start work on these vital repairs so that our wonderful old engines will be working under steam again this Spring.”
The traditional Easter steaming weekend is scheduled for Saturday, April 15 to Monday, April 17.