Last week Dave and I took some time off work to tackle a lot of jobs around the house that had got left unfinished for far too long. We've been drilling, sanding down, planing, boxing in pipes, filling, decorating, and deep-level cleaning, and we've achieved loads. By yesterday it had got to the stage where if either of us so much as saw a paintbrush or a screw driver we'd have killed something, so we treated ourselves to a day out to a somewhat unexpected destination - Clay Mills Victorian Pumping Station near Burton-on-Trent.
One of Dave's former colleagues helps out there on a regular basis and offered to give us a 'personal' guided tour. The pumping station is one of the biggest and most complete to survive from the Victorian era, with lots of different steam engines - which Dave and I are both suckers for. We arrived about 10.30 am and spent the best part of four happy hours clambering around, under and over engines, boilers and more engines while Dave's colleague explained how they worked and what the pumping station was for. (In the latter case, actually for pumping sewage, particularly effluent from all the breweries, away from Burton so it could be treated elsewhere.)
The sun shone, the volunteers were dressed up in Victorian workmens' clothes, small traction engines chugged about giving visitors rides, and all in all it was a fascinating and really fun day out.
Many thanks, Chris, the tour was much appreciated. :)