While on a short steam based holiday in Norfolk in April we visited the Strumpshaw Steam Museum and as none of us had been there before we were looking forward to the experience. The museum was fairly easy to locate, signposts leading us from the Norwich to Great Yarmouth road straight to the door. On our arrival we began to wonder what we had let ourselves in for as we could see no sign of a museum and although the grounds were extensive, the car park was tiny. We followed the signs to the entrance and paid our admission fees, what lay in store?
We need not have worried as what met our eyes was quite unexpected, an cave of steam engines!
The museum is housed in a large barn which is split on two levels. On entering we were presented with a well kept Burrell traction engine and several Marshalls, these, we were able to compare with Victoria to see how Marshalls had improved (or not) their design. Around every corner there were more engines, mostly well kept with evidence of recent steamings, in fact several were being prepared for their annual boiler test which we found encouraging for a museum as many just keep their engines as static exhibits.
Apart from the traction engines there were lots of other interesting items including a cinema organ on which period tunes were played shaking the cobwebs from the visitors ears!
Outside we rode on a narrow gauge railway on a train pulled by a small diesel loco which toured the grounds, on this trip we saw that building work was underway to extend the museum, more power to their elbow!
To sum up, Strumpshaw Hall Steam Museum is well worth a visit, don’t be put off by first impressions, it houses a wonderful collection run by helpful and friendly people, look out for their annual steam rally, the setting alone will be reason enough to go.