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The Waterworks MuThe Waterworks Museum site mapseum has some good news to share after a frustrating year of closure. The Museum is delighted to acknowledge the award of a National Lottery UK Heritage Fund UK grant which will fund the installation of a new entrance to the Southall Gallery (as part of a one-way system) and improve facilities in the visitor centre, which will help make the Museum Covid-safe for visitors and volunteers.

Work on these critical safety measures has commenced but Museum to remain closed until January 2021.

The new entrance to the Southall Gallery will be created by installation of a covered walkway between the fire exits in the Museum’s meadow car-park, which will be the start of a one-way route to visit the Grade II* Victorian water pumping station.  This will also have the added benefit of allowing visitors to see the exhibits in the Southall Gallery from a wholly new perspective.

In addition to the new entrance to the Southall centre, funds from the Heritage Lottery grant will see a new visitor entrance and a new and larger toilet block. Next year, visitors will also see a number of other changes.  In future, visitors will leave the Tangye House exhibit by a new exit as the rear of the building and there will be new arrangements to control visitors numbers in the tight spaces of the WW2 exhibit in the Rotherwas Building and in the area of the Massington Lineshaft Display.


The Waterworks Museum traces the history of drinking water from the cave-dwellers up to the present day through wonderful working engines, superb display panels, guidebooks and films and the knowledge shared by the Museum’s volunteers. Classified by English Heritage as “a site of clear national importance”, the Museum is home to the oldest working triple-expansion steam engine in the UK and probably has the widest range of working pumps and engines.

The Noel Meeke Heritage Water Park is unique in the UK and is aimed primarily at young people but ALL visitors are encouraged to enter and have a go with the historic water devices. Here visitors can interact with full-size devices for lifting, pumping, moving and filtering water which have been used down the generations. In a totally safe environment children can have immense fun and learn at the same time the difficulties of obtaining water in days gone by.

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