Crofton Beam Engines salute to Wiltshire in The Great War

On the 28th and 29th of July, Crofton Beam Engines will be hosting a number of free activities for all age groups around the theme of Wiltshire’s contribution to the Great War effort for World War 1. These events complement our normal steaming activities over this weekend and, of course, our magnificent engines will be running both days as they did during the Great War. All these activities, displays and talks are free and we are sure that they will attract and involve all age ranges in a fun packed experience.

On both days we will be running workshops at 11.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm where whole families can all get involved with signing up to Kitchener’s Army, including the drilling of new recruits, through to life in the trenches and coming home. There may be postcards from the front and talk about the effects on those left behind. There will be lots of dressing up opportunities for children and adults as well as crafts to use on the day and take home.

Many of you will have relatives that fought in one of the Wiltshire regiments. We have a unique opportunity at 2.15pm on each day to listen to a talk by Michael Cornwell of The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum in Salisbury. Michael will be presenting the story and history of the 7 regiments from Wiltshire that were formed and fought with great honour during the Great War.

Throughout the day ‘Strange Old Things’ will be showing some unusual objects for you to find a use for as well as lots of local history background from the Great Bedwyn and Crofton area.

A display of World War 1 related objects and replicas that those serving in the first world war and here on the home front would have known.

Wiltshire Museum’s display of ‘Wiltshire at War’ taking us through life as it was on the Home Front from 1914 – 1918.

The Engineman’s Rest Café will be open and there will be a BBQ to feed the troops. Do come along for a great day out. Remember, apart from entry to the Engine House on a steaming weekend all these activities are provided for free by the volunteers at Crofton Beam Engines.

Crofton Beam Engines

Crofton Beam Engines is situated on the north side of the Kennet and Avon Canal near to its highest point. It was built to pump water to the highest level of the canal some 13m (40’) higher and 1.13Km (0.7miles) to the west. It is home to two magnificent steam driven beam engines one of which can claim to be the oldest in the world still in its original location and doing the job it was installed for in 1812.

Crofton Beam Engines is a Grade 1 listed site. It is also a branch of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust who operate the site through an enthusiastic band of volunteers all of whom are keen to provide visitors with a memorable experience.


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