Tees Cottage Pumping Station, built in 1849, once provided drinking water to Darlington and the surrounding areas of Teesside, until it was converted into a museum in 1980. The volunteer-run museum now opens as a static exhibit every Wednesday, when volunteers meet to do tasks, and hosts around five steaming events every year, giving visitors the rare chance to see this Victorian waterworks in action.
For the last 40 years, Northumbrian Water and the volunteers have worked together preserving this historic landmark, with volunteers donating around 25,000 hours to this wonderful scheduled monument in 2018.
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."
Volunteers are now looking for new members to join their team with exciting opportunities available including helping to maintain one of the largest preserved gas engines in Europe, keeping the steam powered beam engines in tip top condition, learning how to make iron work in the blacksmith shop and giving iron work making demonstrations to visitors.
There is much more to volunteering at this scheduled monument than maintaining and fixing engines, with volunteers sought after to help out with finance, administration, social media content planning, event management, serving in the tea room, doing general DIY tasks, helping out on public opening weekends and meeting and greeting visitors.
Darlington-born George Beautyman, who has been a volunteer at Tees Cottage Pumping Station for 38 years, said: "We are looking for likeminded people to join our fabulous team and I′d urge anyone interested in volunteering to get in touch with us.
"We have lots of interesting roles and regardless of your skills, there is something here for everyone.
"It′s a pleasure to be a part of this team - I have made some life-long friends since volunteering and learned so many new skills over the years. I love meeting new people and helping to preserve this industrial heritage right here in the North East."
There is a flexible approach to volunteering at Tees Cottage Pumping Station and no set minimum amount of time required, just an ask that volunteers help out as and when they can. The £10 annual membership fee covers the cost of insurance for volunteers and gives the added bonus of free entry and unlimited hot and cold drinks while volunteering.