A Boulton and Watt steam engine – which takes pride of place in one of Dundee’s leading museums – is to receive a prestigious heritage award .  . . on a very special day.

The rotative beam engine – one of only five of its kind surviving in the UK – is the star object of the High Mill section of Verdant Works’ museum in the city. The engine dates from 1801-1802.

The engine will be awarded the Engineering Heritage Award from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). William Edgar CBE, IMechE Past President, will unveil a commemorative plaque and there will also be a special ‘steam-themed’ musical performance from a singing group called Quire.

The event will take place at Verdant around 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 25 – the 200th anniversary of the death of James Watt.

A spokesperson for Verdant Works said: “The Engineering Heritage Awards recognise pioneering engineering artefacts, locations, collections and landmarks. The awards raise public awareness of the vital role mechanical engineering plays in modern life.”

The museum’s Boulton and Watt engine is typical of the type used in textile mills in the 1800s – and was originally used to drive the machinery at Douglasfield Bleachworks in Dundee. The engine is on loan from Dundee City Council via a partnership with Leisure and Culture Dundee.

Listen to Gill Poulter of Dundee Heritage Trust talk about the engine.

Boulton and Watt Engine at Verdant Works, Dundee
Boulton and Watt Engine at Verdant Works, Dundee

Verdant Works will be open to the public on Sunday, August 25 – allowing visitors to watch the awards ceremony. There will also be “Full Steam Ahead” workshops for children (bookable). To find out about admission prices and other information, see the museum’s website.

Sunday, August 25, is ‘Go Industrial Day’. Events to celebrate the James Watt anniversary are being held at industrial museums across Scotland. For more information, visit: www.goindustrial.co.uk