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A spectacular building

Thorney Museum is one part of the Tankyard - but not everyone knows why it is called the Tankyard.

The reason is that the water tank for the Duke of Bedford's rebuilt "model village" was here, providing running water for the village from 1855. There is still a large cast iron tank behind the large windows at the top of the tower. The architect was Samuel Sanders Teulon, working with the London engineer John Hodgson Jones.

The other buildings surrounding it included two large steam engines in the basement, which pumped water and drove machinery - and sadly were scrapped in the early twentieth century. The gas works, at the end of Gas Lane, made town gas out of coal to light the streets. Workshops were used to build wagons, windows for the cottages and other things needed for the town. The North Level Internal Drainage Board works from offices by the Hall to manage water in our area.

Thorney Museum is in the cottage used by the Engineer who ran and maintained the steam engines. The last residents were the Little family, when Ted Little was the Surveyor for Thorney Rural District Council.

Under threat in the 1970s, when the Peterborough City Council wanted to demolish the building, it was saved by community campaigning and opened as a village hall in 1981, It still needs our help to support and use this spectacular piece of Victorian architecture.

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