Main line steam had gone a year previously -
but in the late 60s there was still lots of steam
in action in industry. The following pictures
were taken on a trip around some of the
Yorkshire pits which were still "in steam".
Intent on doing it "properly", we had obtained
permits - which probably ensured that this
particular July day was dull and wet. The
slides, taken on Kodachrome II, needed a bit of
The first picture depicts "Mexborough", Hunslet 0-6-0ST 1902 of
1938, in action at Wheldale colliery . Next on the itinerary was
Fryston, connected to the latter by rail. Here, two locomotives
were at work. Firstly "Fryston No 2" is seen, an outside-
cylindered 0-6-0T built by Hudswell Clarke 1883 of 1955,
followed by an "Austerity" 0-6-0ST, Parkhill No.26 (RSH7291 of
Leaving the Castleford area, we drove down to Manvers Main.
This colliery near Wath-on-Dearne had no less than 12 steam
locomotives, the largest allocation in Yorkshire at that time. Up
to 8 could be required in traffic daily. Unfortunately, I had not
realised that we had obtained our permit for the annual holiday
fortnight. So, while the maintenance staff we around, nothing
was working. Six locomotives are visible in the general view; also
shown is the rather pretty No. 11,
Yorkshire Engine Co no. 1823 of 1922.
Next on the list was North Gawber, near
Barnsley. Here, another "Austerity" 0-6-0ST
was in steam, Hunslet 3212 of 1945,
having just returned from the exchange
sidings at Darton. A quick check with the driver revealed that no
more action was likely for some time, so we took a photograph
The day was drawing on, and we decided to head north again,
calling in this time at Ackton Hall colliery near Castleford.
"Beatrice" was an attractive Hunslet 0-6-0ST, no. 2705 of 1945.
After taking one or two pictures, the driver asked if we wanted a
ride - we needed little persuading.
I had obtained the necessary information from an excellent
document produced by NELPG, then actively involved in raising
cash for the renovation of J27 65894 and Q6 63395. The
publication "Yorkshire Steam" detailed over 50 collieries which
had steam locomotives - how times have changed!
Many thanks to Frank Webster for his help in identifying some of the above
locomotives. I was never very good at checking exactly what I was snapping - I
would assume I'd be able to look it up in the current IRS handbook, and then
discover later that there were several similar locos at that site...
Industrial Railway Society
© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011