Stenlake Publishing - Northern Northumberland’s Minor Railways – Volume Two: Colliery and Associated Lines

Northern Northumberlands Minor Railways - Volume Two: Colliery and Associated Lines

Author : Roger Jermy
ISBN : 9780853617044
Cover : paperback
Price : £10.95

The second volume in this series examines the railways associated with the coal industry. For centuries, until the 1960s, the economy of Northumberland was dependent on coal. Much of the coal came from the south-east of the county. Other Northumberland pits were found in the Tyne Valley, and near Berwick and Alnwick, these last two districts being covered in this volume. Several collieries were worked on a commercial scale to the south and south-west of Berwick. Further south, small collieries were associated with the lime industry at Seahouses, Beadnell and in the area of Ancroft. Numerous collieries developed in the Alnwick area, near Shilbottle. Others were found close to Amble at Radcliffe, Broomhill and Hauxley. Finally several collieries were located in a line from Longframlington towards Elsdon including those at Healeycote, Forestburngate and Longwitton. Many of these collieries were sufficiently large to warrant the use of waggonways or railways, both underground or on the surface.

In the early years men or horses were the source of motive power for the coal wagons. In later years some of the bigger collieries became linked with the national rail system and were busy enough to employ their own locomotives. Much local coal was exported from ports such as Tweedmouth and Amble, its destination being ports in Europe as well as those in the south of England. Other coal was taken by rail to power stations for the generation of electricity.

Some mines, though constructed mainly for the extraction of coal, produced other commercially important products. Those at Scremerston and Radcliffe, for example, yielded clay which allowed the creation of substantial brick and tile works close to the collieries. A nearby pit produced good quality ironstone as well as supplying coal for the Brinkburn Ironworks. Occasionally the use of colliery lines became shared, for example stone from the Forestburngate Quarry was moved along the line of the Forestburngate Colliery Company.

A5 format, 128 pages, 108 illustrations.

Northern Northumberlands Minor Railways - Volume Two: Colliery and Associated Lines

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