Updated 30 may 2007

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 458


Taken 1933 at Wirksworth.

Taken 1973. Holwell #3. Centenary of the oldest working steam loco. This loco hauled limestone from the Stoneycroft Quarry to the Cromford Road sidings. Limestone for sugar beet processing is piled in the background.

The bridge where Coldwell St crosses the line, Wirksworth station just beyond to the North.

Technical details:
Cylinders (x2): 14x18in.
Boiler: Diameter: 3ft 2 1/8in
Boiler: Length: 9ft 4 5/16in
Grate Area: 6.6 sq.ft.
Wheels: 3ft

Heating Surface:
Total: 561 sq.ft.
Firebox: 43 sq.ft.
Tubes: 518 sq.ft.
Total Wheelbase: 5ft 6in

Tractive Effort: 10,824 lb
Length: 21ft 8in
Weight: 20t 7cwt
Water Capacity: 550 gallons
Coal Capacity: 8cwt

Wirksworth 0-4-0ST shunter

This engine is very similar to a class Y2 shunter built in 1883 by Manning Wardle & Co of Leeds. Wheelage is 0-4-0 and water is held in a saddle tank. It stands near Wirksworth station. Locos similar to this did shunting duty for over 50 years at Wirksworth. The loco number is 2, indicating it was considered as "Industrial"

George Cash writes
Dear Mr Palmer
I have just been looking at the photos on your splendid site and can add some info regarding photo 458 showing saddle-tank No 2. This is a fine picture I hadn't seen before. While it is similar to a Manning Wardle, it is in fact a Hudswell Clarke (the similarity is due to the two firms being near neighbours in the Hunslet district of Leeds, and they shared with the Hunslet Engine Company a design tradition traceable to E. B. Wilson's Railway Foundry, which had closed down in 1858. All three later firms arose on parts of the Wilson's site and employed many of the staff of Wilson's.)

This particular Hudswell Clarke is maker's number 1605, ordered on 28 July 1927 and delivered on 14 October of the same year to Bowne & Shaw of Middlepeak Quarry where it worked until April 1948 when it was transferred to Stewarts & Lloyds' Harston Quarries, Leicestershire, and scrapped in 1952.

The dimensions quoted on your site are suspect as No 2 is recorded as having 9"x15" cylinders, 2' 6.5" wheels and a weight of 10 tons 15cwt. I do not have the remaining dimensions but the figures quoted seem on the high side - maybe they relate to the Manning type quoted, about which I have no information, but it is clearly a generally larger engine.

The location of the photo is immediately north of the bridge under Cromford Road, visible in the background. The loco is standing on the spur leading to Middlepeak and Stoneycroft quarries. This spur has now been removed but the line under the bridge is still in place, and now can be ridden on courtesy of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, who offer a passenger service from Wirksworth Station to Ravenstor Platform, the site of which is just out of the picture to the left. Until last year the line north of Wirksworth Station had been used only for mineral traffic.

Details of this and other locos used in Wirksworth are in Howard Sprenger's excellent book "The Wirksworth Branch" published by Oakwood Press in 2004. (I have mentioned above all relevant details of this particular loco)

Hope this is of some help.

George Cash
Reading, Berks (but born & bred in Wirksworth)

Photo taken:1933

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