Annual Gala Day

Mayor of Hereford opens new display at Waterworks Museum

This year’s annual Gala Day at the Waterworks Museum (Sunday 28th July) saw the Mayor of Hereford, Councillor Kath Hey, unveil a plaque to inaugurate a new display with an interesting and unexpected connection to Hereford.

The 1911 Hindley ‘Alcazar’ steam engine originally pumped saline water to the Spa Bath at Tenbury Wells, and was donated to the Museum in 2000. After recent maintenance, however, volunteer engineers have enabled this engine to be display more appropriately so that it now does what most of the engines at the Waterworks Museum do – pump water.

The connection to Hereford is that James Cranston, the architect of the gothic Tenbury Spa Baths, which opened in 1862, was born in Hereford and was the brother of John Cranston, the horticulturist who made Hereford’s Kings Acre Nursery famous for its roses across Europe. Cranston is also said to have based his design for the Spa Baths on his patent protected design for a greenhouse, one of which he installed in Kings Acre Nursery in 1861.

As usual the Mayor was collected from the Town Hall and brought to the Museum in a small cavalcade from amongst the remarkable variety of interesting historic vehicles that attended Gala Day. Visitors enjoyed picnics in the sunlit grounds and were wonderfully entertained by members of the Hereford Concert Band who played two full sessions in the open air.

Next up: On Sunday 25th and Monday 26th August, the Waterworks Museum will celebrate the life and work of the great inventor and steam pioneer James Watt on the bicentenary of his death. Watt, who was one of the father’s of the industrial revolution, had links to the Wye Valley as at the start of the 19th century he bought a number of farms along the banks of the River Wye in Radnorshire, where he built a summer retreat. The Museum will be open both days between 12pm to 4pm. Admission: Adult £7; Senior £6; Children under 16 go Free.

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