Middleton celebrates its colliery heritage

TWO long-lost locomotives that once worked in the Yorkshire coalfields were re-created during the Middleton Railway’s Last Coals to Leeds gala over the weekend of September 29-30.

The event marked the 50th anniversary of the closure of Middleton Broom Colliery, with ex-Middleton Broom Hudswell, Clarke 0-6-0ST No. 3 Nineteen Fifty Three (in reality Slough Estates No. 3) and Yorkshire Main Colliery Manning, Wardle 0-6-0ST Forward (Matthew Murray) taking to the rails once again, thanks to a few vinyl transfers, a lick of paint and specially produced nameplates.

Visiting ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST Wimblebury exits the tunnel carrying the M621 over the Middleton Railway with a train for Middleton Park on September 29. LES NIXON

Also attending the celebratory event was former NCB Cannock Wood Colliery Hunslet ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST No. 7 Wimblebury, from the Foxfield Railway.

There had been some doubt in the weeks leading up to the event over whether the Manning, Wardle would be completed in time, but Middleton workshop volunteers pulled out all the stops to ensure the loco, sporting a fresh coat of apple green paint, was ready to assume its temporary identity.

Read more in the November issue of The RM – on sale now!

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