Washington’s historic F Pit Museum has opened to the public this week, following the completion of some repairs and restoration works.

From 1 September to 15 October, visitors will be able to see the working horizontal steam winding engine and explore the history of the site through films and displays on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 12pm – 3pm.

In addition, families can drop in between 12pm – 3pm on Saturday 10 September to make model mining lamps and pit pony badges to celebrate Heritage Open Days, while schools can book morning visits on Thursdays and Fridays to view mining artefacts and historical documents in special sessions led by museum learning staff.

One of only 10 ‘Scheduled Ancient Monuments’ in Sunderland, the Grade II listed F Pit Engine House is an iconic landmark that showcases the important history of coal mining in the region.

Following the completion of a £310,000 repair package earlier this year, including roof, window, brick, render and internal joinery repairs, the Engine House is back in good condition and a specialist conservator completed final checks last week to ensure the engine is working smoothly and safely in preparation for visitors.

The engine is especially significant as it’s the original winding engine that was built by the Grange Iron Company in 1888 and given to F Pit second hand.

Located in Albany Park, the F Pit Museum also retains the steel headgear that was once used to bring a cage of coal or miners from great depths in the mine to the surface.

Cllr Linda Williams, cabinet member for Vibrant City, who lives in the area and represents the Washington Central ward said: “We’re thrilled to see this important heritage site open once again to visitors.

“As a council we are committed to preserving our city’s heritage and the F Pit regeneration project is one of many across the city.

“It’s fantastic to see the original winding engine up and running, and I’m certain it will be a fun and educational experience for children visiting with their schools.”

To find out more about the events and school visits at the F Pit Museum, contact Marie Harrison at museumlearning@sunderland.gov.uk.