26 Feb 2017: Claverton Pumping Station will reopen to the public in May 2017. This follows a four year restoration. During that time a lot of work has taken place including becoming fully integrated with the Canal and River Trust through their adoption scheme. British Waterways then its successor CRT have always retained ownership of the Pumping Station. I thank them for their support and financing all of our restoration works.
The water wheel has been completely overhauled with new timbers. These consist of the starts or arm which hold the boards to the wheel (288 of these) Float boards that carry the water on the wheel and seal boards that keep the water in the wheel while it turns.
We also fitted a full set of wooden gear teeth to the large pit wheel that is directly driven by the water wheel. These consist of 408 blocks of Iroko (an African hardwood). The team prepared jigs for production of these on a band saw then fitted them in pairs by hand to create 204 teeth. Then each tooth had to have the correct profile cut taking care to obtain the correct pitch between each tooth. Here a machine table was set up in front of the wheel and a special cutter run across each tooth using an adapted circular saw (see picture).
Before running the wheel again the alignment was checked revealing that one large bearing was sinking. Upon investigation we found that it was supported on a piece of timber which had rotted away. It was probably a piece of Elm installed during construction in 1813. I thought we knew most things about Claverton but this had eluded us until then. The timber was replaced with steel packers.
The rest of the building has been white washed inside from top to bottom quite a task on the ground floor due to the height and getting around the machinery.