A historic Darlington monument owned by Northumbrian Water, is expecting to welcome thousands of people through its doors this weekend in celebration of a special anniversary event.

Tees Cottage Pumping Station will be celebrating 40 years of volunteering and offering visitors the rare chance to see everything this Victorian water works has to offer.


Built in 1849, Tees Cottage Pumping Station once provided drinking water to Darlington and the surrounding areas of Teesside, until it was converted into a museum in 1980.


Since 1979, it has been operated by a group of dedicated volunteers who open the museum to the public around five weekends a year and work closely with Northumbrian Water to maintain it.


Louise Hunter, Corporate Communications Director at Northumbrian Water, said: "We are immensely proud of Tees Cottage Pumping Station and the work the volunteers do week in and week out, to help us preserve this magnificent site for generations to come.


"Forty years of volunteering is such an incredible achievement. Congratulations to everyone for achieving this milestone and a big thank you for everything you do."


This weekend′s opening of the site will offer visitors the chance to meet with volunteers and see behind the scenes.


They can watch the giant water pumps in action and the miniature railway in full steam, see first-hand iron work demonstrations in the blacksmith shop or relax in the tea room with a cake and cuppa.


Darlington-born George Beautyman, who has being a volunteer at Tees Cottage Pumping Station for 38 years, said: "We are looking forward to opening our doors to the public this weekend to celebrate 40 years of volunteering and hope to welcome as many visitors as possible to help mark this special anniversary.


"It is a pleasure to be a part of the volunteer team and working with likeminded passionate people and partners, who work together helping to preserve this important industrial heritage right here in the local community."


Tees Cottage Pumping Station is full of superb engineering history and still has two of the original pumping engines, with one being the largest preserved example in Europe.


Darlington MP Jenny Chapman, said: "Tees Cottage Pumping Station is a fantastic example of heritage right here on our doorstop and is an important part of Darlington′s history.


"I have visited the site a number of times before and met with the volunteers, who do a brilliant job helping to preserve it and making it possible to open to the public.


"Congratulations and a big thank you to the volunteers for all their time and effort over the last 40 years."


Tees Cottage Pumping Station is open to the public between 11am and 5pm on Saturday, June 22, and Sunday, June 23. Last entry on both days is 4pm. The site is located next to the River Tees on Coniscliffe Road, Darlington DL3 8FT.


There is an entrance charge of £5.00 for adults, £4.00 for concessions and children under 16s go free when accompanied by an adult. All money raised during opening days is invested into the continued improvements to this ancient monument.


Lucy Chapman, Programme Manager at Groundwork North East & Cumbria, said: "It′s been a pleasure and a privilege to work alongside such dedicated volunteers here at the Tees Cottage Pumping Station.


"Over the years that we′ve worked together, we′ve been inspired by not only the Scheduled Ancient Monument itself and the unique engineering journey that the site has taken through steam, gas and electric power but more significantly by the tenacious can-do attitude of the many volunteers that have kept this magnificent site running for 40 years."


For more information about Tees Cottage Pumping Station including volunteering opportunities please visit, www.teescottage.co.uk