My father recently passed away, aged 67. My Dad was always interested in live steam and had volunteered at a local steam museum for the past several years. In fact he’d been working there during the day when he had his fateful heart attack on the drive home. I’d always joked with my sisters that Dad would die with a hammer in his hand; it wasn’t far from the truth.
On my recent trip back to the UK for Dad’s funeral we (Mum and sisters) decided we’d all like to see the museum and meet with the other volunteers who’d been working with Dad on the Sunday he died.
Ellen Road Steam museum occupies the old engine and boiler houses of a former Rochdale cotton mill. It’s in Lancashire by exit 21 of the M62. Look for the large mill tower as you’re exiting the motorway.
The museum is open the 1st Sunday of each month year round and runs live steam. The house is normally also open on Saturdays though the engines are not running. See link for more details.
We’d been contacted by several Ellen road members to let us know what Dad had been working on, and arranged to visit the museum during a weekday. This was normally a time when the museum was closed and we surprised to see the large number of volunteers who’d turned out to work on items and also give us a personal guided tour. Everyone there was super friendly and you could see their intense passion for the museum. Amazing amount of knowledge and enthusiasm. We met with two of the volunteers who’d been working with Dad to rebuild an old fire pump. The pump was banging and not working well. They had to strip it down and rebuilt the cylinder internals. I can just imagine my Dad with larger spanner (wrench) in his hand hanging from the top of the pump .
Since we visited during the week the engines weren’t running so we’ll have to visit again on a live steam day to see the big engines Alexandria and Victoria running in their glory! I took lots of pictures of the engine house during the trip and have posted them to our smugmug site. Click here or the thumbnail below to view.