Papplewick Pumping Station near Nottingham provided an ideal backdrop for the 1940s Steam Event.
We were treated to live entertainment from our favourite performers Jane Darling and Kevin Mac. With their nostalgic sing-a-long tunes and foot-tapping music, the onlookers were soon up and jitterbugging. Mr Churchill gave one of his famous “We shall never surrender” speeches. There was an array of vintage vehicles from classic cars, steam rollers, ambulances to military land rovers. A miniature steam railway was giving young families a trip around the grounds. Re-enactors gave us a display of auxiliary fire fighting equipment by the lakeside, and then youngsters were invited to have a go. We were also given an explanation of the Rocking Resuscitation Stretcher – the method used before modern day CPR.
The main building itself, of course, is spectacular – a well-preserved heritage site originally designed in 1880. It was built to pump millions of gallons of clean fresh water to the rapidly increasing population of industrial Nottingham. Inside there are stained-glass windows, decorated wrought iron pillars, carved woodwork and, of course, the original James Watt Beam Engine. The latter is fascinating to watch when operating at full steam from the Lancashire Boiler. There was also the colliery widing engine and the working forge to watch.
There were trade stalls selling hand-made goods and vintage items. We enjoyed our tea and cakes from the NAAFI canteen. The whole friendly event was mainly taking place in the open air so everyone felt safe.
It was necessary to pre-book our tickets in advance. All full-priced tickets provide unlimited entry within twelve months of purchase. We shall take advantage of this by returning within the year to future events. I would thoroughly recommend Papplewick for a great day out.