The Easton Amos land drainage machine at Westonzoyland Pumping Station Museum was awarded a prestigious Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Engineering Heritage Award at a special ceremony on Sunday 2 October.
The drainage machine was honoured for the role it played in the management of the Somerset Levels, alongside other great industrial/engineering marvels such as the SS Great Britain and Tornado the new build A1 mainline steam locomotive.
Previous winners of Engineering Heritage Awards include Alan Turing’s Bombe at Bletchley Park, the E-Type Jaguar and the fastest ever Concorde.
The award was presented by the Chairman of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Heritage Committee, John Wood to Jason Keswick, Treasurer of Westonzoyland Engine Trust.
John Wood, Chairman of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Heritage Committee, said:
“The Easton Amos land drainage machine is a hugely impressive and important artefact which was critical to managing the Somerset Levels. The Appold pump was far more efficient and reliable than earlier steam powered pumping systems such as scoop wheels and this award celebrates not just the original achievements of Easton & Amos but also all the dedicated staff and volunteers at the Westonzoyland Engine Trust who have restored the machine to magnificent conditions we can see today.”
Jason Keswick, Treasurer of Westonzoyland Engine Trust, said:
"The Westonzoyland Engine Trust are thrilled to receive such a prestigious award raising the acknowledged importance of our Easton Amos Land Drainage Machine alongside other British engineering marvels. We hope the award will help support us when applying for grant funding to maintain the Grade II Listed buildings that house this important machine in the future.”
Run entirely by volunteers, the Westonzoyland Pumping Station Museum was established more than 30 years ago, when the Westonzoyland Engine Trust, a registered not for profit charity, was set up “to advance the education of the public regarding steam power and land drainage”. It is now fully accredited by the Arts Council England.
The original buildings, which comprise the engine house, cottage, forge and chimney are Grade II listed by Historic England. Together with a modern exhibition hall, engine shed and pump room, these house what is acknowledged to be one of the largest collections of working stationary steam engines and pumps in the UK (about 30), many of which have been manufactured locally or have local connections. Two rooms in the Attendant’s Cottage are open to view.
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers was established in 1847 and has some of the world’s greatest engineers in its history books. It is one of the fastest growing professional engineering institutions. Headquartered in London, we have operations around the world and over 113,000 members in more than 140 countries working at the heart of the most important and dynamic industries such as the automotive, rail, aerospace, medical, power and construction industries.
The Engineering Heritage Awards, established in 1984, aim to promote artefacts, sites or landmarks of significant engineering importance – past and present.
For more information: Engineering Heritage Awards