by Jonathan Whitney
(De Montfort University student)
Over 1,000 people enjoyed Europe’s biggest display of steam toys at a Leicester attraction yesterday (February 2).
Steam Toys in Action, held at Abbey Pumping Station near Abbey Park, featured 70 different exhibitors in and around the station’s famous beam house as well as a number of heritage vehicles and a working steam train.
Andrew Simpson, conservation and collections officer at the station and curator of Steam Toys in Action, said: “This is the twenty-fourth time this event has been held and it has always been popular from the beginning.
“It is just for toy steam models, with everything from actual toys to professional engines.”
Outside of the four main exhibition halls were a number of vintage buses and a rare electric Mini.
Mr Simpson said: “All the vehicles owned by the museum are piled out for events like this for people to look at.
“There is even a coal-powered fish and chip van and all of the vehicles were locally built.”
The event, which was organised by the Leicester Museums Technology Association, had the enthusiastic backing of Leicester City Council and a team of around 140 volunteers all trained to run the exhibits.
Mr Simpson said: “We’re always running events like this and the next will be on April 13 and based around the theme of hobbies and pastimes.”
Outside of large events Abbey Pumping Station is one of Leicester’s most popular tourist attractions and is open every weekend from February until the end of October from 11am until 4:30pm.