A Personal view

Photograph of the Engineerium, Hove.

A P.C.’s memory
“As a young PC, I saw children climbing into the grounds of the Goldstone Pumping Station. When looking for them, I met a waterboard man who showed me the magnificent Eastern and Anderson Beam Engine, looking like a new pin.

It pumped 150,000 gallons of water per hour from a 50 metre deep well. Installed in 1875, it was a magnificent example of Victorian engineering. The workman was proud, but sad about plans to demolish the Station.

Happily, it survived, to be open to the public as the Engineerium.”

Comments about this page

  • I am appalled to see that this local attraction of national importance is to close. (BBC SouthEast News 1:30pm today 12 April 2006) and the collection is to be sold next month. Can nothing be done to save it or is it to go the way of the West Pier ? Note what ‘Anonymous’ had to say,(above)

    By Tim Sargeant (01/01/1900)
  • I am having some difficulty getting onto the Engineerium website…I am the great granddaughter of Benjamin Adam who was the resident engineer at the Goldstone Works. I think he started in 1893. I have just transcribed what appears to be his resume and wondered if the museum might be interested. I know the family lived at the Works when my grandmother was growing up and wondered whether there might be any pictures of the family home or other written information on the family.

    By Janet Harrison (07/09/2003)
  • This building puts modern buildings to shame! The brickwork, the layout, the interior, the finishing touches, the cleanliness and the feel for the place. Built with passion and thought. Shame Mile Oak and Waterhall and many others have gone, would have been successful museums or flats now? or maybe an Engineerium!

    By Anonymous (26/03/2005)
  • I was really saddened to hear the news about the sale of the contents of the Engineerium. Surely somthing can be put in place to carry on running it. Why do we keep breaking up collections of things that have built our countrys history. Surely it has to be classed as a heritage site.??

    By Sara Brown (10/05/2006)
  • I’m so pleased to make my comments a little later than the others and to say how very happy I am that this wonderful Engineering museum has been bought and saved for posterity. It would have been helpful to have times of opening and a telephone number for planning a visit.

    By Brenda de la Mouette (16/05/2006)
  • Thank goodness for Mike Holland, CEO of Cherrywood Investments for purchasing the Engineerium. Thank you Mr Holland.

    By Anonymous (21/06/2006)
  • Dear Sirs, Please can you tell me when the Museum is to be reopened .I am a member of the VMCC & Mazda MX5 clubs and wish to plan group visits when possible . Looking forward to revisiting.

    By Mr.F.W.Humphreys (23/09/2008)
  • My grand father worked for Brighton Water. In the late 1950s to early 60s they lived in the house on the site. At the age of eight, I fished the cooling pond for carp and had access to the steam pump engines and underground wells. It was kept spotless. I later returned in my 40s to find some of the equipment had been removed. A wonderful place to play.

    By Wayne Claridge (31/07/2013)
  • I hope the Engineerium is reopened.  I often used to walk past it as a child on the way to Hove Park but rarely visited the museum as I didn’t understand the significance of the site back then.

    By Danny (10/12/2014)
  • Has anyone got any information on the current position regarding the Engineerium?

    By Tim Sargeant (23/04/2019)
  • In reply to Tim’s enquiry re ‘current position’ the following is the latest I know of – and this is at March 2018.

    The Brighton and Hove Engineerium, renamed as the “British Engineerium” in 1981, was put up for sale in March 2018, with the sign-board suggesting future use for ‘leisure, business or educational purposes’.

    So – anything more up to date than this ?

    By Brian Matthews (29/04/2019)
  • Back in 1976, when the Engineerium first reopened, I was a volunteer there at weekends. I came to know, and deeply respect, Jonathan Minns and his vision of engineering excellence.
    And so, 2 years on, this magnificent edifice still stands, awaiting some kind of Fate. Being marketed as as a “possible company headquarters or recreational and dining experience”. I cannot think of any purpose more excoriating of Jonathan’s vision than such a fate. He must be spinning in his grave.
    Brighton and Hove is incapable of looking after anything beyond emphemera, social fashion,and its own self-regard. Madeira Drive arches, Volks railway, the West Pier, its seafront architecture, the list is endless. It is the city of the professional vandal, and the virtue-signaller.
    I do not recognise the town I grew up in. It is a hideous parade of paper lanterns, preening, and waste.
    I hate it.

    By Mark T. (29/11/2020)
  • The above comment does need some response as there are some sweeping statements in it.
    “Brighton and Hove is incapable of looking after anything…” What exactly does B&H mean? If it is the city council then there are some failings to be addressed, especially with regard to the Madeira arches, but two of the places mentioned, the West Pier which is owned by the Brighton West Pier Trust and the British Engineerium which is part of the business empire of Mike Holland, both are private property and the Council has no hand in either scheme, and with local authority funds severely limited there is not much hope that things will change very much . The ‘seafront architecture’ is all privately owned and unless it is Grade listed and in danger of serious deterioration there is not a lot they can do. Brighton is my birthplace as well!

    By Dr Geoffrey Mead (30/11/2020)
  • Johnathan Minns was my father. I was 3 when he opened the Engineerium and I grew up in between there and the watermill in Hellingly in which we lived. I am by no means an engineer but as a younger chap I was also able to work on a few of the museums industrial restoration projects across the country. Dad did indeed have a vision, as well as the requisite steam-barge-load of charisma, talent, charm and ability to hustle that was required to convert his vision into everything that the Engineerium became. He did endlessly try to tie in Brighton and Hove Council, working with them to find ways to make the museum council owned and run and preserve the space for future generations. However these requests and efforts continued to fall on somewhat deaf ears at the council, resulting ultimately in the name change from the Brighton and Hove Engineerium, to the British Engineerium in the early 80s. He never did well with committees and committees have always been unnerved by creative minds such as his. He did, however, get to build and run the Engineerium exactly the way he wanted to, doing countless amazing industrial archaeological and restoration projects the world over along the way. It’s kind of the above commenter, but don’t feel too sad for dad because of what the Engineerium is today. He lived an exceptional life, he lived it very much on his own terms and in doing so managed to contribute hugely to industrial heritage both in the UK and across the world. He smashed it. Rock on pops.

    By Dominic Minns (06/05/2021)

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