The William Boulton Steam Engine at Middleport Pottery has been successfully brought back to life by the United Kingdom Historic Buildings Preservation Trust (UKHBPT) and The Prince's Regeneration Trust (PRT) and is set for its first official steaming this Sunday 11th September between 12pm and 3pm as part of the Heritage Open Day weekend.
The steam engine is a key feature of the original 1888 factory. Built specifically for Middleport Pottery, it is the last surviving example of its kind still within its original setting.
This unique piece of industrial engineering was used to provide the power for most of the machinery throughout the factory, driving the production of Burleigh ware, from clay to cup from Victorian times to the 1970s.
After a very successful fundraising campaign by UKHBPT and PRT, the steam engine has been restored to full steam functionality and now everyone has the chance to experience and enjoy this amazing piece of Victorian engineering. The steam engine will be showcased as an integral part of the Middleport Pottery visitor experience.
The restoration work was carried out by James Mitchell of Industrial Heritage Consulting with a team of Middleport Pottery volunteers, volunteers from the Etruria Industrial Museum and young people from the Prince's Trust.
"What's really incredible about this restoration is that visitors will get to see a real working steam engine in its original factory setting, rather than on display in a museum. They can marvel at the factory as they tour the site and appreciate how this engine would have powered this busy, bustling factory.
This is a unique visitor attraction for Middleport Pottery and really does make it a must-see destination for anyone interested in our country's industrial heritage," said Peter Jenkins, Chief Executive, UKHBPT.
The steam engine will be available to see during the visitor centre's opening hours of Monday - Sunday 10am - 4pm (excluding bank holidays). It will run daily on electricity and on special occasions on steam. Please check with Middleport Pottery visitor centre for the special steam days.
UKHBPT and PRT had to raise £167,000 to pay for the restoration of the steam engine. UKHBPT and PRT wishes to acknowledge and thank the following donors: the Association of Independent Museums (AIM), The Pilgrim Trust, Hilco Capital, Stoke City FC Chairman Peter Coates and everyone that contributed to the 100-day crowdfunding campaign.