ALL records were broken for the gala day which celebrated the fortieth anniversary of the Waterworks Museum in Hereford. There were more historic vehicles than ever before and record numbers of visitors. Add to that brilliant weather and the superb playing of the Hereford Concert Band in the wonderfully picturesque setting of the museum by the River Wye in Hereford.
It is 40 years of continuous development which was celebrated on gala day. The museum has grown to have one of the largest collections of working pumping engines on one site in the UK. It tells the story of drinking water from the 1850s to the present day and is in the vanguard of heritage water pumping stations worldwide, designated by English Heritage as a site of clear national importance.
On gala day the guest of honour was the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Hereford, Councillor Len Tawn, who unveiled an engraved plaque and officially opened a new working display of a powerful water pump from the Second World War. The historic pump was made by Tangye Brothers and Co of Smethwick, Birmingham in 1944. So an added celebration commemorated on Museum Gala Day was the 70th anniversary of the pump.
A 1928 Rolls-Royce was the lead car of a cavalcade of historic vehicles which brought the mayor's party from the town hall to the museum. In his speech the Mayor said: "Thank you for inviting me here on the 40th anniversary of the museum. We are very fortunate to have this wonderful industrial heritage museum in the city of Hereford. This annual gala day is the ideal opportunity for visitors to appreciate and acknowledge the hard work of the volunteer team which keeps this museum alive." In his reply the chairman of the museum, Dr Noel Meeke, thanked the mayor and mayoress for finding time in their busy schedule to visit the Museum and for cementing the warm relationship between the city and the museum.
Being the ruby anniversary of the museum, it was wonderful to see all the guests and visitors wearing something red, especially ruby red. This included ladies in red dresses to gentlemen sporting a red rose in their lapels. Ruby red bunting was fluttering in profusion and there were red balloons for all the children. In addition everyone who came was presented with a ruby red ball-point pen proudly proclaiming the museum's 40th anniversary.
One of the visitors said, "An absolute jewel of a museum; a perfect ruby!"