An emergency appeal has been launched to keep the world famous beam engines at Crofton pumping.
Volunteers say £27,500 is needed if monthly steaming events are to be held in 2017.
The funding is needed to repair the coal-fired Lancashire boiler at Crofton Pumping Station, which at more than 100 years old needs a significant amount of work over this coming winter’s service period.
Peter Turvey, chairman of the Crofton branch of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, said: “We encourage everyone to visit us and enjoy a unique steam experience.
“Crofton is a unique in the world site of industrial history and has provided pleasure to thousands of people over the years seeing these marvellous engines in action during our steaming events.
“Crofton gives a look of wonder to children and parents alike as it demonstrates the size and power of these engines. With history back to the industrial revolution this is a very special site.
“We are urgently raising the funds to complete these works this coming winter so that we can continue steaming next year and many years to come.”
Crofton is home to two beam engines dating from 1812 and 1846. They pump water 1.6km upstream to the highest level of the Kennet and Avon canal and are the the world’s oldest engines doing the job the were designed to do.
Crofton Beam Engines can be seen in action steaming over Bank Holidays or end of the month weekends between Easter and the end of September and it is open to visitors daily except for Wednesdays.
But they are also ready to jump into action when needed in an emergency. In March this year they were called on when the modern electrical pumping system broke down.
Supporters can help the appeal by purchasing Boiler Fund merchandise – like a handmade ‘boiler bear’ – from the pumping station shop, or by making a donation in person, by post, or online at http://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/kennet-avon-trust/boilerappeal
The next steaming weekend is on 25/26 June. For details visit www.croftonbeamengines.org