This excellent museum houses one of the largest collections of working steam mill engines in the UK. Tucked away in an old cotton warehouse in the corner of a Morrison’s supermarket car park, it aims to preserve the machines that once powered the cotton mills in the north of England.
The museum is run by volunteers of the Northern Mill Engine Society (NMES). The original Bolton Steam Museum opened in the early 1980s with just five restored engines. A decade later Morrisons purchased the Atlas Mills complex on Mornington Road in Bolton for a new supermarket. The retail giant donated the former cotton store to the NMES to be used as the site of their new museum.
Since moving to larger premises, the collection has increased in size and now numbers 29 engines.
It’s best to visit on one of their ‘steaming days’, when most of the machines are operational. Dates in 2020 are:
- Spring Steamings. Saturday, Sunday: May 9, 10: 10.00am – 4.00pm
- Bank Holiday Steamings. Sunday, Monday: May 24, 25: 10.00am – 4.00pm
- Summer Steamings. Sunday, Monday: August 30, 31: 10.00am – 4.00pm
- Autumn Steamings. Saturday, Sunday: October 31, November 1: 10.00am – 4.00pm
- Winter Warm-Up. Monday, Tuesday: December 28, 29: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Visits can also be made by arrangement on Wednesdays and Sundays throughout the year. Admission is free at all times but donations towards running costs are appreciated.
The Bolton Steam Museum is situated on Mornington Road in the Heaton area of Bolton. Enter and park on the Morrisons supermarket. Parking is free. Owners of satellite navigation systems can use the postcode BL1 4EU to find it.
Most of the space at the museum is devoted to the exhibits, but there are toilets and a small shop/café here. The Morrisons store also has a decent restaurant, toilets and baby changing facilities.