News article created on 13 March 2017

Volunteers needed to help look after historic pumping station

We are on the lookout for volunteers to tell the story of Claverton Pumping Station, one of the oldest and most iconic pumping stations along the nation’s waterways and the only working water wheel powered beam engine in the country.

Claverton pumping station with Millpond Claverton pumping station with Millpond

Having helped keep the Kennet & Avon Canal supplied with water during the Industrial Revolution, the Station fell into decline before recently being restored.

Along with a team of volunteers from The Claverton Group, we are looking to attract further people to help maintain the Station as well as hosting tours to tell its unique story.

Powered by the force of water from the River Avon, the 24 ft. wide wooden water wheel, along with the beam engine, pumps water 48ft uphill (the height of three double decker buses) to the Kennet & Avon Canal. During the height of the industrial revolution the pumps played an important role in keeping the canal full of water and boats moving cargo along the canal.

Steve Manzi, from the Trust said: "The volunteers at Claverton have done a remarkable job restoring the pumping station, with some of them making a lifelong commitment to seeing the water wheel and pump, up and running again.

"We are now need some additional ‘hands to the pump’ as it were, to help us tell the story of the pumping station to the public. You don’t need to have any specialist skills or knowledge to join the volunteering team for this role, just a love for canals and a curious mind that wants to know how things work."

Peter Dunn, from The Claverton Group, said: "I’ve spent 25 years helping to maintain the inner workings of the pumping station and for me it really has been a labour of love. I’m really proud of what we have achieved and that we have the water wheel working again. We would love to be able to show the station to as many people as possible but we do need some extra help in order to do this. If anyone is interested in lending a hand, we would really love to hear from them.”

If you would like to volunteer at Claverton Pumping Station, please contact Peter Dunn on 07719 911 421 or by email at 

A series of open days are planned monthly during the summer, on the following Sundays between 10am and 5pm:

  • 27 May
  • 24 June
  • 29 July
  • 26 August
  • 30 September