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World’s only working Newcomen Engine replica in final steam

Newcomen in Steam

29 August 2011

This bank holiday weekend will be the last chance for visitors to see the historic Newcomen Engine in steam at the Black Country Living Museum, before it undergoes a programme of refurbishment to prepare for it’s tercentenary celebrations in July 2012.  The world’s only working replica of the Necomen Engine was built at the Museum in 1986 using the original Thomas Newcomen design, Newcomen’s first successful steam engine is recognised as that built in 1712 near Dudley Castle in Tipton, West Midlands only a mile away from the it’s current location. The Newcomen Engine and the building that houses it, has been one of the first buildings visitors have met when they arrive at the museum and it has been the main focal point for many steam weekends and evening events. After 25 years of hard work at the museum, the historic Newcomen Engine needs a little ‘TLC’ and will be undergoing a programme of refurbishment over the winter of 2011/12. The programme will include replacing the wood head frame, adjusting worn parts of the pump and the mine shaft. The valve gear, piston and cylinders will also be repaired. The programme is scheduled to be completed for the Newcomen tercentenary celebrations at the Museum in July 2012, which are to include a Newcomen Society Lecture by the television presenter, Adam Hart-Davies. Carolyn Pugh, Director of Development said “When ‘in steam’ the Newcomen Engine is one of the Museum’s most impressive sights but £40,000 of work is needed to restore it to full working order for its tercentenary celebrations, so that visitors can learn about and enjoy it in years to come. A number of generous private trusts and other organisations have already pledged their support but funds are still needed. To find out more or support this important area of our work, please contact the Museum on 0121 557 9643 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              0121 557 9643      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.”

Along with the steaming Newcomen engine, for this August bank holiday, the Museum will be running activities to bring the family together, visitors can enjoy playing traditional board games such as Solitaire, Snakes and Ladders, Shut the Box, chess and draughts.  Creative crafts include bookmark making and even toy making, creating and dressing your own traditional peg doll. Children of all ages can create ‘Whirling Windmills’ which will inspire visitors to be creative and colourful by making their own mini marvel whilst learning about the importance of wind power.

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