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Kirkaldy Testing Museum

David Kirkaldy was a pioneering and visionary engineer who lived by the courage of his convictions. He knew that only the careful, independent testing of materials to be used in the construction of bridges, buildings and other structures would ensure their integrity and safety. Kirkaldy designed and had built a mighty Universal Testing Machine and independent commercial materials testing was born.

Event

The Courage of Kirkaldy: A special visit after hours
6.00pm - 8.00pm
Adults £5.00, Concessions £4.00

David Kirkaldy's motto, carved over the front door of his company’s workshop and offices for all to see, was "Facts Not Opinions".

He knew that only the careful, independent testing of materials to be used in the construction of bridges, buildings and other structures would ensure their integrity and safety. Kirkaldy designed and had built a mighty Universal Testing Machine and independent commercial materials testing was born. His opinion could not be bought, and when he disagreed with his peers, such as after the Tay Bridge Disaster, he told them so – but this made Kirkaldy an unpopular man and in his obituary in 1897 he was described as 'outspoken and fearless as a Viking' and 'the best-hated man in England'.

His motto, and – thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers – his machine, still survive today, testimony to the courage to keep this remarkable pioneering work alive in the heart of regenerating Bankside.

To celebrate David Kirkaldy’s pioneering courage on this second London History Day, the Testing Museum at 99 Southwark Street will open for a special late opening so that local workers and visitors alike can experience this remarkable man and his machine. We will open from 6pm to 8pm on 31 May, and we hope to run a test of the big machine at 7pm.

However, there are also many other testing machines in the museum, and there will be a chance for visitors to try one of our very popular smaller destruction testing machines for themselves!

The museum is entirely volunteer-run and we would love to welcome new volunteers so that we can open more often than our usual First Sundays. Donations are always welcome and we would also be pleased to talk to universities and companies who would like to get more involved and help us keep Kirkaldy’s open and thriving in future!

Please get in touch with sarah@testingmuseum.org.uk if you would like to help and we look forward to seeing you on 31 May.

No booking required, tickets available on the door.

More information

Visit

Kirkaldy Testing Museum
99 Southwark Street
London SE1 0JF

Kirkaldy Testing Museum

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