Dawson Downie


There is one Dawson Downie steam pump in the collection.

  • Duplex 8x8x8, No.36631, 1919, St Anthonys Tar Plant

Duplex 8x8x8, No.36631, 1919, St Anthonys Tar Plant

Size: 8" steam cylinders, 8" pumping cylinders with 8" stroke

This pump was originally installed on the River Tyne tar plant jetty and used to unload tar barges and transfer crude tar to storage tanks located about 60 feet above the river. The tar plant had been built on the bank of the Tyne adjacent to the well known Swan Hunters Ship Yard, in order to take advantage of both water and rail transport for the receipt of crude tar and the dispatch of tar oils and pitch.

Tar receipts continued to be unloaded from Elswick, Jarrow, Tynemouth, Walker & Wallsend, Newbiggin and Redheugh using tar barges until the arrival of natural gas forced the closure of the traditional gas works in the late sixties. River transport ceased and the jetty unloading facilities fell into disuse. Remaining tar receipts from NCB coke works were delivered by road.

St. Anthony's finally closed in 1978 and all steam pumps along with the distillation plant were transferred to the Caerphilly site in South Wales for storage and possible reuse.

This pump remained in store until November 1994, when it was recovered and transferred to Essex along with another St. Anthony's pump. It has since been restored and is on display as a static exhibit at the Museum of Power, Langford, Essex.