The Engine House

The Engine House today

The No.1 Engine house was the main building project after initial work on the shaft sinking, the roof girders were being placed in December 1910, the travelling crane of 20 ton capacity which ran along the top of the walls already being in position and in use handling the various engine parts.The engine contracts for this and the No.2 engine were let to Yates & Thom of the Canal Ironworks, Blackburn, who had also supplied the initial boilers to the site. The ancilliary gear was contracted out to Fraser & Chalmers of Erith, Kent, a G.E.C. subsidiary. The total cost for the winding house in 1910 was £4133 ( £ 400,000 today. )The winding engine was completed at a total cost of £9677 ( Approx £1.035 million today)

The winding engine which served the No 1 shaft is the largest surviving colliery winding engine of its type in Europe. It has four cylinders in twin tandem compound arrangement developing 3300 horsepower at 58 rpm. The engine was installed in 1912 and took two years to complete. It is connected to a bicylindro-conical drum which in turn was connected to the headgear pulleys to wind up the coal and wind down the miners and maintenance supplies. Most of the remainder of the colliery buildings and a second shaft with its gear have been destroyed and the winding gear is the last surviving example in the Lancashire coalfield.

The pit closed in 1970 and although the Winding House, Winding Engine and Headgear were saved, it was not until 1983 that the site was leased to the society and work started on saving and restoring the winding engine and winding house and getting it working again. This has been achieved by a small dedicated team of volunteers over the last 37 years and it is now in working condition. The engine finally ran for the first time in 2013 almost 30 years to the day when the Red Rose Steam Society took over the site, although now running on compressed air, it is run at regular intervals through the year. Keep an eye out on Facebook and the Website for running days.



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Photo Via Tim Cooke