One Hundred and Fifty years of Water History

A celebration of water engineering for nearly 50 years

Established in 1974, the museum is housed in a historic Victorian water pumping station which served as Hereford's main water supply station for well over a century. The museum's exhibits cover the history of drinking water from the earliest prehistoric times through to the present day.

Our Volunteers

Our growing band of museum members include volunteers who regularly support our activities with their time and expertise, many helping the museum when it is open each Tuesday and on family open-days.

Our volunteer engineers are mainly (but not exclusively) active or retired engineers, scientists or technicians, who give their time to the restoration, installation and maintenance of the museum’s site, building and its collections.

Other volunteers support administration and marketing activities, and the provision of education, stewarding, catering or the other support Trustees needed to operate the museum. The museum’s Trustees and Directors are also volunteers.

On a typical Tuesday, there are between 20 and 30 volunteers working on site.

How we are managed

The Museum is wholly governed, managed and operated by volunteers and has no paid staff.

The Governing Body is the Council of Management, the members of which are charity trustees. The day-to-day management of the Museum is delegated to Trustees elected annually to serve as Directors, who collectively oversee the activities of the Museum’s Volunteers.

The Council of Management comprises 18 trustees, five of who have been appointed as Directors and meets at least four times a year. It is accountable to the Members of the Museum, of which there are currently around 180. 

Our Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance is an important part of the way in which the Museum operates. The Governance decides what the purpose of the museum is, states who is in charge / makes important decisions.

It is an important tool kit that enables the Directors and the Trustees to deal more effectively with the challenges of running the Museum. 

About Us

Wholly run by volunteers, the Waterworks Museum is a 'not for profit' business structured as a company limited by guarantee and registered as a charity.  

We are fully accredited under the Arts Council of England scheme, which sets national standards for museums in the UK.

... and how we are funded

The Waterworks Museum receives no public funding. It operates with the support its benefactors and by using revenues from admission fees, grants, awards and membership subscriptions. Funding falls under two main categories: revenue support for day-to-day expenditure and capital funding for projects.

The Museum is wholly operated by volunteers which means it is only possible to open to the public on around 70 days a year. Accordingly, the admission charges and other revenues generated do not cover on-going day-to-day expenditure.

The Trustees are very grateful to the Museum’s benefactors (Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and The Southall Trust) who have helped to sustain the costs of running this active, working and dynamic museum since it was established in the 1970’s. The annual fees paid by Members of the Museum and the donations we receive are also very important, especially where they are given under Gift Aid, which adds considerably, and most valuably, to the funds available to operate the Museum.

The Museum always has projects under way from the rescue and restoration of engines, pumps or other relevant machinery, to major and minor building projects. Making the collection widely accessible to visitors is very important and new display projects are continuously planned and carried out. Such projects require capital funding and the Museum approaches various funding bodies with appropriate proposals.