Centenary for steam machine

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ONE of the Museum of East Anglian Life’s star exhibits will celebrate its 100th birthday at next month’s steam event.

The Empress of Britain Burrell Steam Traction Engine, built at the Charles Burrell works in Thetford in 1912, will be joined by another 25 locally owned historic vehicles at the annual Steam Craft event on August 11 and 12.

Over the weekend, visitors will be able to experience the sights, sounds and smell of the beautiful old machines.

During the Steam and Crafts weekend, the museum is also hosting its 10th Steam Engine Driver Training Event.

Here, budding students will be taught the basics of engine ownership, maintenance and use while working alongside experienced steam engine owners.

Lisa Harris, collections manager at the museum, said steam machines were once key to rural life.

She said: “We are delighted that the museum has been able to help preserve the Empress of Britain for the enjoyment of visitors both now and into the future.

“Without the commitment of a range of individuals and museums, both machines and skills that have been so key to rural life in the past would already have been lost.

“With less than a month to go until the beginning of the event, the plans and preparations are really starting to take shape and excitement is certainly growing”.

For more information, contact the museum on 01449 612229 or visit www.eastanglianlife.org.uk