Less than ten minutes from my house you will find the Steam Engine Museum in Medemblik. The largest collection of still working steam engines is gathered here in the former steam pumping station “Vier Noorder Koggen” along the lake IJsselmeer. This 150-year-old pumping station still works! The monumental building is an integral part of the famous Westfrisian Circular dike. It is a special collection in a special building at a special location, and I had never been there …
Why not? I have no idea, it just never attracted me like that. Now of course I want to experience everything that my customers will encounter during their stay. On a rainy cold day we therefore decided to take a look at the machines. Our kids always come with us to museums and attractions, with their divergent interests they form an important sounding board for me. We had chosen a day in a school holiday, then the museum is always open 7 days a week and the machines are under steam.
At the entrance we bought a firelighter cube for the children with which they could make a miniature steam engine work. At the table with different machines they were allowed to light the cube, fill the water and with a little patience the machines started to move and make noise. That, of course, was a spectacular start in which the effect of steam became immediately apparent.
On to the real machines. One even larger and more impressive than the other with descriptions so that it became clear exactly what the machines were for and where the came from. The enthusiastic stories and demonstrations of the guides were incredibly fun. Sometimes we had to stay at a suitable distance when they showed how powerful these machines can be. You should certainly also ask about the test with the soda can!
At the end we arrived at the boiler room where the fire was kept burning in huge ovens. Quite a job for the stoker with these temperatures that he could use some help with. The kids rolled up their sleeves, got a wheelbarrow of wood, stoked up the fire and earned a real “stoking diploma”.
A visit to this museum in the Land of Water and Steam is an absolute must. The expansion of the Steam Engine Museum in the near future is in full development. Check the website for the latest news and the calendar where the opening hours and steam days are indicated.