August 1, 2011By

A departure from the normal program of events but I do have a soft spot for Industrial Archaeology so I hope you enjoy….Bell Bros Ltd (1911-1915)
Wakerley Ironstone Co. Ltd (from 1915)
Partington Steel & Iron Co. Ltd (from 1918)
Discussions with Bell Broshad began in October 1907 with some trial holes but quarrying did not start until November 1911. A siding agreement withLNWR (London and North Western Railway) was dated July 1913. The quarries ran for a short while before the lease surrendered and was taken over byWakerley Ironstone Co. Ltd from 1915. Gravity was used to help the loaded tubs of Ironstone reach the tipping dock and two horses hauled the empty tubs back to the pits. For some reason the earlier tipping dock was abandoned and a new one built at the eastern end of theLNWR sidings, possibly because of an improved gradient to the railway.During the operation of the quarry a row of four Calcining Kilns were built by prisoners-of-war and next to them an engine room containing a horizontal boiler. It’s believed the kilns were never actually used and in fact only two of the four were ever completed.

From 1918 and now in the hands of Partington Steel & Iron Co. Ltd the quarry was extended the opposite side of the Harringworth Road and the tramway tunneled underneath. Around this time a second tipping dock was added to the newer eastern one and this is evident today as the original one is faced with stone and the new addition is red brick. The quarry became mechanised in later life making use of a Bucyrus Class 14 Steam Shovel and a Ruston Steam Transporter.

The quarry closed somewhere around 1921, the track was taken up and the bridge under the road filled in, everything else was left which is unusual as normal practice is to restore the ground at closure. Today both tipping docks are clearly visible, as is the deep cutting of the quarry. The railway sidings adjacent to the LNWR main line are also evident and there are some remains of the weighbridge at the top of the ‘new’ tipping dock.

Sadly the Engine Room has crumbled but all four calcining kilns dominate the landscape for miles around and are in remarkable condition.

Apologies for the gratuitous use of Sunstars but my Tokina glass has a 9 bladed diaphragm which makes 18 pointed Sunstars so I couldn’t resist it…

Calcining Kilns
‘New’ twin Tipping Dock – original in stone, later addition in red brick
The next shot shows the original Tipping Dock (running from left to right towards the kilns on the center horizon). The treeline to the right of the photo is the Main Railway line and the long raised area from the camera to the kilns is the LNWR sidings.

Be the first to comment.

Leave a Reply