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History Lives on in a Miniature Steam Engine

Another successful application to our third party grant fund.


After another successful application to our third party grant fund, the team visited the Charles Burrell Museum in Thetford with our big cheque. There, the Charles Burrell team introduced us to some of their engines: the plucky agricultural engine Aggie, the gleaming showmanship of Queen Mary with wheels so big we could stand in them, and their newest recruit: the miniature Man of Kent.

Miniature steam engine.

The grant given to the Museum will allow them to repair or replace the boiler in the miniature engine so it can be taken to events. The project will also provide a learning opportunity for volunteers to dismantle and rebuild the engine as part of the process. As the engine is very small, it is an easier scale for teaching and, once it’s rebuilt, will be better for teaching children how it works and how to run and drive it.

The tiny, perfectly built Man of Kent steam engine is charming and this project is really precious for the town. Roy Brame, Chairman of the Museum, described the steam engines as “living history”. Built by the river in Thetford in the Charles Burrell factory, the engines the Museum have today aren’t just exhibits, but functional, local machines. When we visited, Queen Mary had just returned from a stint at Bressingham Steam & Gardens where she ran their Gallopers over the Christmas Period. Having a miniature engine on which volunteers can learn and practice, would bring historical knowledge and culture into the present day.

We will update you as the project progresses. And, hopefully one day, the miniature Man of Kent will come steaming up the town to pay a return visit to our office.

Do you have a community project involving heritage or the environment? Take a look at our Grant Fund overview and resources here.