A REVOLUTIONARY piece of North-East history restored for future generations to enjoy will open its doors to dozens of families this bank holiday.

The Victorian Tees Cottage Pumping Station, in Darlington, began supplying clean drinking water to the town in 1849 to ensure residents did not have to rely on wells, hand pumps and rainwater tubs for water.

The Scheduled Ancient Monument has suffered structural problems, asbestos contamination and break-ins over the years, however an initiative to restore the site to its former glory has been successful, with Northumbrian Water now the proud owners of the site.

The building is sporadically opened to the public who can visit volunteer-run museum full of engineering history on Easter Sunday and Monday for the first public steaming event in 2019.

Louise Hunter, corporate communications director at Northumbrian Water, said: “Tees Cottage Pumping Station is a fantastic example of heritage right here in our region which opens to the public to visit around five times a year.

“We’re immensely proud of this historic monument and of the partnership we have with the volunteers of Tees Cottage Pumping Station who work exceptionally hard helping us to preserve it.”

This opening of the site will offer visitors the rare chance to see behind the scenes, from watching the giant water pumps in action and seeing the miniature railway running to admiring the iron work in the smithy and relaxing in the tea room.

Phil Doran, director of operations at Tees Cottage Pumping Station, said: “We′re looking forward to opening the doors to the public this weekend for our first steaming event of 2019 and welcoming visitors to this unique historic site.

“It’s a great opportunity for visitors to see behind the scenes of this wonderful Scheduled Ancient Monument – there is so much to see and do.”

Tees Cottage Pumping Station still has two original pumping engines with one being the largest preserved example in Europe and are superb examples of Victorian architecture.

The Coniscliffe Road site is open on Sunday and Monday, between 11am to 5pm with last entry at 4pm. Entry is £5 for adults or £4 for concessions. Children under 16 go for free when accompanied by an adult. All money raised is invested back into the ancient monument.