Leicester’s Museum Of Science & Technology

Abbey Pumping Station in Leicester

During our visit to the National Space Centre we spotted the Abbey Pumping Station next door with a big sign saying ‘Free Entry’ so thought we’d pop in.  We discovered the Leicester Museum of Science & Technology which displays Leicester’s industrial, technological and scientific heritage.

Abbey pumping station

Just inside the entrance you will find various industrial machinery on display with information boards about each one.  One of these machines is the huge Ruston-Bucyrus Type 52B Steam Shovel, one of only a few steam shovels left in existence.   It is currently awaiting funding for restoration work to bring it back to life.  There is also a fab play park for the kids.  This is a great space to let the kids run off some steam!

steam shovel at abbey pumping station

Inside the museum we found a real variety of exhibits.  The absolute highlight for all 3 kids was the flushing toilet.  Yes you did just read that correctly.  A normal flushing toilet like the one you have at home, except this one is see-through so you can watch things flush away down through the pipes.  They would have played with this for hours if we’d let them!

Flushing toilet exhibit at abbey pumping station

Other exhibits include a vintage car, penny farthing bike, typewriters, plus various other reminders of bygone days.

One other thing the kids really enjoyed was the mini tramway.  Here you could have a go at pulling a mini tram along a metal rail and then a cobbled street to see the difference. 

Tram exhibit at Abey pumping station

The Victorian building still features its original 4 beam engines used to pump the sewage to the sewer works up until 1964.  They can still be seen in action on special event days.

Beam engines at Abbey Pumping Station

Round the side of the building you will find a narrow gauge railway which is often running to give visitors a ride along the site railway.  There is a very small extra charge for this (I think it was 50p per person on our visit!).

All in all we enjoyed our visit to the Abbey Pumping Station.  I did find it was quite a random place with all sorts of things to see but very enjoyable too.  Plus, its free!  You can easily spend a couple of hours here.

Address:  Abbey Pumping Station, Corporation Road, Leicester, LE4 5PX

Price Band:  £0

Website:  http://www.abbeypumpingstation.org

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