Pinchbeck Engine Museum

Just outside the village on Pinchbeck Marsh stands Pinchbeck Engine Museum, a Victorian beam engine built to fight the floods and drain the surrounding land. Ken gave me a great tour, sharing newspaper reports of the destructive floods of 1947 and stories about Charles Seymour, the last man to look after the engine. Until his retirement in 1952 Charles managed, mended and maintained the Pinchbeck steam engine for 43 years. He lived and worked on site, to stoke and run the steam engine. Ken showed me the bald wooden shelf next within a few feet of the furness where Charles would have rested on nights when he needed to keep the fire stoked 24 hours a day to keep the land from  flooding.  I was particularly drawn to the display of tools in one room, handmade and unique to the Fenlands, with strange shapes and stranger names – prongs for eel hunting and funny shaped scoops for ditch clearing. Ken then showed me the on site workshop, complete with forge, where Charles would have crafted some of these items and made repairs for the engine.   Today this steam engine contrasts with the unmanned electric pumping station next door, but it has a new life as a museum, celebrating and sharing its contribution to the story of the Fens.

 

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