Visitors beam in as event gives insight into Combe Mill

Witney Gazette: Steve Page monitors the double-acting, condensing beam engine at Combe Mill       Picture: OX66656  Damian Halliwell Steve Page monitors the double-acting, condensing beam engine at Combe Mill Picture: OX66656 Damian Halliwell

IT was full steam ahead for visitors at Combe Mill at the weekend.

The Victorian steam and water-powered sawmill demonstrated the engines that used to power the Blenheim Palace Sawmills.

Volunteer and company secretary Steve Page showed visitors how to work its cast iron beam engine.

Mr Page, from Long Hanborough, said: “The beam engine was put in place in 1852 as an auxiliary power source. It stopped working in 1912.”

Combe Mill is the original sawmill and workshop of the old Blenheim Palace Eastate.

It is now operated as a working museum by volunteers from the Combe Mill Society.

Mr Page added: “We run the steam events every third Sunday of the month to demonstrate to the public how these engines worked. I get a real buzz from talking to the children and adults, and can be explaining things for hours.”

About 100 people visited the centre on Sunday, which has been running for seven years.

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