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Old pumping house and revamped Museum of Technology set to become major attractions for the city


By Adrian Curtis


The old Cambridge pumping station is moving closer towards a grand reopening this summer and will feature three escape rooms as part of its £1.57million revamp.

Cambridge Museum of Technology - Pam Halls, Curator..Pic - Richard Marsham. (8496791)
Cambridge Museum of Technology - Pam Halls, Curator..Pic - Richard Marsham. (8496791)

Othersyde, based at the Cambridge Museum of Technology, is a multi-purpose house and garden that used to be the residence of the chief engineer at the Cambridge pumping station, and has undergone a huge transformation as part of the wider museum renovation.

The house now features an expansive riverside bar, a large garden that will be used for a wide variety of arts events, and three escape room games, all being built within the house, that will explore the future of technology through a fictional lens.

Cambridge Museum of Technology - Assistant curator, Morgan Bell rebuilds some displays..Pic - Richard Marsham. (8496751)
Cambridge Museum of Technology - Assistant curator, Morgan Bell rebuilds some displays..Pic - Richard Marsham. (8496751)

The project is approaching the final stages of renovation work but as yet there is no definitive reopening date, although early June is a possibility.

Meanwhile the museum has already started to add special cabinets to showcase its innovative instruments and world-changing products made by Pye and Cambridge Instrument Company.

Visitors will also be able to see additional content on touchscreens and listen to clips of interviews with former employees on a telephone handset. Elsewhere in the
museum, introductory videos and soundscapes of what the pumping station sounded like when it was running have been added.

Michael Brown, marketing manager for Othersyde, is working closely with Matthew Taylor on the addition of the escape rooms to the engineer’s house. The pair were formerly involved in Lockhouse Games in Cambridge and have ambitious plans for the escape rooms.

Cambridge Museum of Technology - Steve Crammond works on the boiler..Pic - Richard Marsham. (8496735)
Cambridge Museum of Technology - Steve Crammond works on the boiler..Pic - Richard Marsham. (8496735)

Mr Brown said: “Matthew has invested a lot of his own money into the project converting the engineer’s house.

“There will be a strong link-up with the museum so we are hoping for groups, school parties and corporate bookings. It will be a new attraction and I think it is nice to have a multi-use venue outside of the core of the city centre.

“We have a great relationship with the museum and a lot of work has been done to preserving the engineer’s house, keeping it externally as the beautiful building that it is.

Cambridge Museum of Technology.Pic - Richard Marsham. (8496738)
Cambridge Museum of Technology.Pic - Richard Marsham. (8496738)

“In terms of visitors and customers, we’ve now got this new attraction at the beautiful engineer’s house, a bar, expansive garden, tiered seating, and a beautiful riverside location and soon to be three escape rooms.

“This is an exciting riverside attraction by the museum. People can hire just the garden, one of the rooms, or the entire space for a corporate booking. We are quite flexible. We want to attract business and community groups who want to use it for events.”



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