Film ID:
NEFA 22179



Visitor Tabs


An amateur film produced by Peter Dobing and George Theaker of the Darlington Cine Club recording an open day for visitors at the volunteer-led Tees Cottage Pumping Station, a Victorian waterworks in Darlington, which also has a blacksmith's workshop.

Credit: Peter Dobing and George Theaker present

Title: Tees Cottage Pumping Station Darlington

Water is pumped into one of the station reservoirs. Exterior view of the Beam Engine House and chimney. A plaque on the wall reads ‘Darlington Waterworks 1849’. Volunteers in white overalls walk around the site, one kneeling on the ground reaching into a covered well.  

Outside on Coniscliffe Road, a large ‘Tees Cottage Pumping Station Preservation Trust’ sign advises prospective visitors that the station is open.

A small sign points visitors in the direction of the Gas Engine. Inside the engine house volunteers work to maintain the machine which was installed in 1913. Two men work on another part of the gas engine now in operation. A brass plaque identifies the builder as R. Hornsby & Sons Ltd. General views of the steam beam engine in operation follow. Two small boys watch the machine while their father attempts to describe what it is doing. More views of the engine in operation follow. A view of another brass plaque, this time for The Lancashire Dynamo and Motor Co. Ltd and views of electric pumps installed on site in 1928.

In a small smithy, a blacksmith uses bellows to pump air into the forge. He then uses a hammer to strike and bend a piece of hot metal. He moves hot coals around on the forge with a set of tongs causing flames to leap into the air.

Outside at the rear of the Beam Engine House, a volunteer breaks up wood with a large hammer. Nearby is the river Tees from which water is pumped. Inside the boiler room, another volunteer lights one of the two Lancashire boilers using the wood broken up by his colleague seen previously.

Two volunteers stand beside a set of metal levers. In unison they slowly pull them and a set of pistons begin to move up and down. The film cuts to show the fly-wheel of the beam engine in operation and a man and his two sons standing behind a barrier watching. General views of the nine metre long cast-iron beam rising and falling inside the Beam House with visitors wandering around. A brass plague on the beam engine dates it to 1904 and identifies the engineers as T&C Hawkley of Westminster and the builder as Teasdale Brothers of Darlington. More general views of the beam engine and fly-wheel in operation and of volunteers working to maintain and clean the machine.

he film ends back outside with pumped water coming out of a pipe into a reservoir.

End credit: With thanks to those who helped in the making of this film.