Dave Sergeant

The London Museum of Water and Steam, formerly Kew Bridge Steam Museum, is at the old Kew pumping station. More informtion on Wikipedia. I decided to combine my visit with a walk along the Thames from Barnes and back.

Arriving at Barnes Bridge station at 10am it was a pleasant walk along the Thames on the south bank. The earlier morning rain had now stopped and the sun was beginning to appear.

Barnes railway bridge and Chiswick Bridge in the opposite direction.

After another wooded stretch the path comes into the clear with Strand on the Green appearing on the opposite bank which I would pass later.

I reached Kew Bridge which I crossed to reach the museum with its prominent standpipe tower.

The tour begins with a display of all sorts of items which use water. It is fairly busy with special features for the children. Then on to the pumps in the Steam Hall. The Hathorn Davey Triple Expansion Engine is certainly impressive. The museum is a collection of pumps from all over the country and few were actually based at Kew.

The James Kay "Dancers End" Engine which was originally used to pump water from a spring near Tring. On the right one of the electric pumps used at Kew in its later days.

An outside area displays the Hindley Waterwheel, originally at the Duke of Somerset's estate in Wiltshire. The Standpipe Tower dominates the scene and there is also a miniature railway which runs steam trains on special days.

Plenty of activities to keep the children happy. I spent over an hour browsing the collection and it is a fascinating place to visit. Back to Kew Bridge and the walk along the North bank back to Barnes.

This is Strand on the Green, quite a pleasant area with many old houses. But I had misjudged my timing and it was high tide. The river was spreading right over the towpath and when I reached the pub I had earmarked for lunch it was impassible so had to divert onto the parallel road.

After a pleasant lunch the water had retreated as if it had never been there so I proceeded on my way. A short diversion past Chiswick Brige round the Strand on the Green Sailing Club.

Onwards along a pleasant path to reach Barnes Railway Bridge. The Thames Path now uses a new footway underneath which removes the need for a long diversion. Across the bridge which leads directly to the platforms at the station where I caught the train home.

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