Ryhope Engines Museum, which is preserved by dedicated volunteers, is a wonderful example of fine local heritage here in the North East.
The museum, built in 1868, classed as a Grade II (starred) listed building has lots to see and do with free entrance being offered to visitors. Every year, the museum holds steaming events around bank holiday weekends, when visitors can see the site in operation. The museum, which is owned by Northumbrian Water, is also open every Sunday until the end of December, from 2pm to 5pm, as a static exhibit.
The volunteer-run museum, once supplied drinking water to Sunderland and surrounding areas but ceased operation in 1967, after 100 years of continuous use.
The two 100 horsepower beam engines, built by R & W Hawthorn, can be seen working during opening weekends as well as three 'Lancashire' boilers (from 1908), two of which are in regular use, a blacksmith's forge, a waterwheel, numerous steam engines, pumps and waterworks accessories.
Keith Bell, Chairman of Ryhope Engines Trust, said: "Our volunteers are working hard to get everything ready for this opening weekend and are looking forward to opening our doors to visitors.
"There′s something here for everyone including a classic car show on Sunday which we have organised in partnership with Sunderland and District Classic Vehicle Society."
Ryhope Engines Museum is open from Friday, March 30 to Monday, April 2 between 11.00 to 16.00 with free parking which is limited. Improved access is available for visitors with mobility issues and parents with pushchairs.
For those wanting to really get involved, arrive just before 11am on each of the opening days and help the volunteers start up the engines for the day.
Louise Hunter, Corporate Affairs Director at Northumbrian Water, said: "Ryhope Engines Museum is a fine example of amazing heritage and is right here on our doorstep for anyone wanting to visit. We′re so incredibly proud of the site and of the partnership we have with the volunteers of Ryhope Engines Trust who do a wonderful job in helping to preserve it."
Interested in becoming a volunteer? There are some volunteering opportunities available to join the fantastic team at Ryhope Engines Trust which range from painting, cleaning, stoking the boilers to staffing the teashop. There is something available for everyone.
The postcode for the site is SR2 0ND and for more information about the museum please visit www.ryhopeengines.org.uk