Crofton Pumping Station near the village of Great Bedwyn on the Kennet and Avon Canal in Wiltshire was built in 1809 and has two working steam beam engines still pumping water to the summit pound at the top of the Crofton locks.
The Number 1 engine - built by Boulton and Watt of Birmingham was installed in 1812 and rebuilt as a Cornish engine in the 1840s as a single-acting, condensing engine.
It is the oldest beam engine in the world still doing its original work on its original site.
The Number 2 engine was built by Harvey of Hayle in 1846 as a double-acting Sims patent combined cylinder engine. It was rebuilt in 1903 as a single-acting, condensing Cornish engine.
Converting both engines to the Cornish cycle made them more efficient. They ran until the chimney became unsafe in 1959.
In 1968 the station was bought by the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust.
The engines were restored, the existing boiler was replaced with second hand one of the same type and both engines brought back into steam by 1971, each pumping a tonne of water per stroke into the canal feeder.
This DVD closely follows a working day at Crofton in 2001: preparing and stoking the boiler, warming the engines through, starting and running both engines by hand, and then allowing them to run self-acting. Insights into procedures and many details of equipment are shown such as the Cornish valve gear, condensers and water pumps.
If you want to visit Crofton and see the engines in steam please visit the Crofton Beam Engines website for details.
The images on this page are taken from the video.