Andrew Rolland

It is with great sadness that we have to inform you of the death of TCPS member and volunteer Andrew Rolland. Andrew died suddenly at home on Saturday 21st March 2020.

Andrew was a hard working and well respected member of the Wednesday gang and a volunteer on open weekends. He was always willing to take on any job, working well either on his own or as part of a team, where his experience as a naval architect was useful.

Shortly after he joined the society, several years ago, the need for someone to take control of publicity in the news media became urgent. Andrew immediately offered his services and did sterling work placing articles and adverts in the local press and building a strong working relationship with publishers.

Andrew was not one to suffer fools gladly and he could be very forthright and honest in his views. Having said that, he was also a kind and most charming man. He had a sharp wit and a great sense of humour. It was always amusing to watch his face change from a quizzical expression into a mischievous grin at some amusing incident.

Our thoughts and best wishes are with Margaret at this sad time.

Rest in peace mate, we’ll all miss you.

Easter Opening 2019

We have had a wonderful first open day of 2019. The weather has been fantastic and we had a record number of people through the door. Tees Cottage is looking lovely in the sunshine. We are very proud of our new signage, both outside the entrance and in the main reception, giving visitors more information about the site and its history. Come and see us tomorrow! There are loads of activities to do and lots to see.

Tees Cottage Miniature Railway run by Cleveland Association of Model Engineers has had a major facelift over the winter and there are some new engines to meet as well. Perfect for a bank holiday weekend!

October Gala 7th October

What a wonderful day to finish of our season for 2018.  The weather was lovely and a huge range of vehicles and attractions came to see us at Tees Cottage Pumping Station.

We were delighted to welcome the vintage fire engines along side a number of other vintage engines and cars. We also welcomed record numbers of visitors.   The Tea Rooms couldn’t keep up with demand and sold out, which is great news, when we have a gap between steamings!

Here’s  a small selection of some of the smaller engines and some of the people who visited.

As you can see from the shot below it was a busy day.  We have increased visitor numbers for a third year running, and this year have had had over 2,200 visitors on site for our Open Weekends.

Thanks to Bob Hughes for the fab photos of the day. Next year’s steaming dates are:
21st and 22nd April 2019. 
11th and 12th May 2019.
22nd and 23rd June 2019.
14th and 15th September 2019.
5th and 6th October 2019.

We hope to see you there.

West Park Academy come to visit

On Monday 8th October we were delighted to welcome West Park Academy to Tees Cottage.  60 children and their teachers joined us for half a day to tour the facility, do some filtration experiments and look at wildlife in the River Tees.

We were really grateful to Christine and Zoe from River Tees Rediscovered and the Tees Rivers Trust, who provided a wonderful set of bug hunting activities for the children.  Zoe even took this wonderful picture of Tees Cottage from Broken Scar, which shows us steaming up for the previous weekend’s gala opening!

We were able to provide our filtration activity for the children, who ‘polluted’ the  water with a selection of brightly coloured pollutants and debris, before filtering them out using the filters.

Richard – master filtration expert!

Our filters have been handcrafted especially for schools by our, very own, Richard and the filtration activity is one of the most popular activities for schools.

Filters at the ready!

Here we are all set up to welcome the first 18 children to the filtration activity.  Change over times between the groups were challenging today, because of the large numbers of children, but plenty of snacks and drinks and one eye on the clock meant we managed most of it smoothly!

Thanks to all those involved in this event and if you would like to organise a free school visit for your school, club or activity, get in touch with Jim Eason at to arrange.  We look forward to seeing you.

School Visits

Classroom layout with tables, chairs and resources
Our classroom ready for action!

We were really excited to welcome the first of our school visitors yesterday.  A wonderful Year 4 class came to visit us from St Bede’s RC Primary School, Darlington.  They were really interested in all the engines, and created their own water filtration units, which filtered our dirty water into cleaner (if not drinkable!) water. 

3 water filters with sand and gravel in, waiting to be used
Filtration units

Because we have an open day today they were lucky enough to see our beam engine in action, although it did take the engine almost all morning to get going – all our engines are a little bit elderly and need a bit of coaxing first thing in the morning (a little bit like me!)


Pens, pencils and crayons with some examples of finished paper water cycles
Water cycle craft activity

Our visitors also made models of the water cycle and we talked about some wonderful water facts!

One of the children said we were the second favourite school trip they’d had  – the first being the beach, because they got ice cream! After we gave them sweets to take away I am reliably informed we are now top of the table! 🙂

A selection of cups with different materials in them, plastic & glitter
‘Debris’ and ‘pollutants’ added to our water before filtration!

Thank you to all the volunteers at Tees Cottage who made it a wonderful experience for the children and thank you to Year 4 from St Bede’s, and their teachers for being our fantastic VIP visitors.  You are definitely our favourite school visitors ever! Please come again!



If you would like to arrange a free school visit for your school, club or activity, get in touch with Jim Eason at to arrange.  We look forward to seeing you.

At Preston Park

Tees Cottage Pumping Station roadshow crew were out and about at Preston Park Museum, encouraging young people to try a new engineering challenge.