T’Owd Pit Whistle


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The original Astley Green Pit Whistle has been donated back to the museum. It was mounted on the Power House which was located to the north of the Engine House. It was removed by Cliff Graham one of the members of the Red Rose Steam Society, on the closure of the colliery and given to the local pub, the Ross’s Arms, for display. Some 15 years ago the publican retired and the whistle passed to a local man Jack Lloyd who has donated it back to the museum. It had been chrome plated and put on a plinth for display, but it should still be operational. It was used principally to announce the start of the shift and any miner coming after that would not be allowed to go down the mine. Some of the older locals also remember the pits and mills sounding their whistles on New Year’s Eve to bring in the New Year.



The whistle consists of the following main parts, as seen on the drawing: the whistle bell (1), the steam orifice or aperture (2), and the valve (9).When the lever (10) is pulled (usually via a pull cord), the valve opens and lets the steam escape through the orifice. The steam will alternately compress and rarefy in the bell, creating the sound. The pitch, or tone, is dependent on the length of the bell; and also how far the operator has opened the valve.


steamwhistles types
Different types of Steam Whistles


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