Nottingham Industrial Museum

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A Fowler ploughing steam engine exhibit

Nottingham Industrial Museum is situated in part of the 17th-century stables block of Wollaton Hall, located in a suburb of the city of Nottingham.[1] The museum won the Nottinghamshire Heritage Site of the Year Award 2012, a local accolade issued by Experience Nottinghamshire, an organisation funded variously by Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and other sources.[2][3]

The Museum collection closed in 2009 after Nottingham City Council withdrew funding, but has since reopened at weekends and bank holidays, helped by a £91,000GB government grant. Now a volunteer-run organisation, the museum aims to be self-financing and charges for entry with higher fees at steaming events.[4][5][6]

The museum contains a display of textiles machinery, transport, telecommunications, mining and engineering technology from Nottingham's past, featuring a fully operational analogue telephone network; a display of cycles, motorcycles and motor cars linked to the city; and examples of significant lace-making machinery – which put Nottingham on the textile map.

It also houses an operational Basford Beam Engine with occasional steamings held on some Sundays, usually the last Sunday of the month.


The museum has displays relating to five areas of Nottingham industry: Textiles, Transport, Communications, Mining and Steam, each portraying Nottingham’s rich industrial heritage.


Learn about the lives of the men, women and children employed in the factories, the machines they used and what they produced; the very people and machines that helped make Nottingham the 'lace capital of the world'[7]


Enjoy imagining or reminiscing about how we used to travel with restored Raleigh bicycles and Brough motorbikes (including George Brough's own trails motorcycle, made in sheffield)

See the 17th-century Baskerville coach, the Brough superior car, the mysterious Celer car and Thomas Humbers own bicycle. [8]


Learn about how Nottingham changed the communications industry, and how the communications industry changed the daily lives of Nottingham people.

See and hear the restored vintage radios and gramophones dating back to the 1920s, and tap your own morse code message on a telegraph systems[9]

Mining and Agriculture[edit]

Horse gin (engine)

Outside is displayed a large wooden Gin Wheel. This horse gin was removed from a local colliery and had been used for bringing coal to the surface in mines with short pit shafts. It is reputed to be one of only a handful remaining today.

Nearby is a coal truck from Clifton Colliery from the days when this mine was providing most of the coal for the nearby Wilford Power Station which was situated on the site of what is now the Riverside Retail Park.

Nearby is situated the recently restored living van. These were towed behind steam engines and steam rollers and provided accommodation for workers and their families whilst working on farms or road works. There are usually a number of tractors to be found in the tractor yard and these can be seen working during steaming days.[10] The tractor collection comprises a Standard Fordson, a Field Marshall Series 2, a Fordson Major and two Ferguson TE20s.

Outside the engine house is a yard which is home to a number of barn engines, used previously to drive items like pumps and agricultural machinery. There are examples from a wide range of manufacturers, including Wolseley, Ruston and Lister. The barn engines are usually seen operating at steaming days.


The Steam Gallery contains an impressive Basford Beam Engine, one of a pair of engines built in 1858 by R. W. Hawthorn in Newcastle upon Tyne. It was installed at Basford Pumping Station to lift water 110 ft from the sandstone below to supply fresh water to the City of Nottingham. The engine was replaced in 1965 and was removed to the purpose-built Steam Gallery where it was first fired in 1975.

Also in this building today are a large variety of pumps and engines many of which were removed from local companies.

At the bottom end of the gallery stand two impressive ploughing engines. These have consecutive registration numbers and were the last two production engines to come out of Fowlers Leeds Foundry. Owned by Nottingham City Council, they were used for ploughing the treated sewage into the land at a large dairy farm at Stoke Bardolph. One of these engines is operational and is used at the steam up events.

Next to the ploughing engines is a unique J. T. Marshall Portable steam engine, built at the Nottingham Engineering Works, Sandiacre, in 1886. It has been restored to full working order and can be seen operating at the steam up events.

Also in this gallery is a small working local automatic telephone exchange where visitors can use adjacent telephones to dial each other and watch the exchange components whirr around to make the connections. In the many cabinets surrounding this gallery are to be found items relating to mining, transport and steam in general. An operational model railway can also be seen adjacent to the telephone exchange.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°56′45″N 1°12′29″W / 52.94583°N 1.20806°W / 52.94583; -1.20806