Middleton colliery remembered at gala

THE anniversary of the closure of Middleton Broom Pit 50 years ago was marked with the Last Coals to Leeds gala over the weekend of September 29-30 at the city’s Middleton Railway.

A popular attraction was Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0ST No. 3839 of 1956 Wimblebury, visiting West Yorkshire from the Foxfield Railway.

Wimblebury is the latest Austerity to work at the heritage line during the preservation era – fellow Foxfield resident Whiston having visited in 2004 and Quainton-based NCB No. 66 (No. 3890 of 1964) and No. 19 (No. 3818 of 1954) from the Bo’ness & Kinneil during the Hunslet 150 event in 2015.

Resident Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST No. 1544 of 1924 Slough Estates No. 3 lost its Slough Trading Estate identity beneath vinyl transfers to become sister engine No. 3 Nineteen Fifty Four (1872/1954), the last steam locomotive ordered, and indeed used, at Broom Colliery.

Hunslet ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST Wimblebury, visiting from the Foxfield Railway, is seen on the Balm Road Branch. MARK SMITHERS

The line’s Manning, Wardle L class 0-6-0ST 1601 of 1903 Matthew Murray was repainted green and renamed Forward after NCB Yorkshire Main classmate No. 1690.

Appropriate wagons were not forgotten either. They included a five-plank open in pre-NCB Middleton Colliery livery, now numbered 50 to mark this event; a flat wagon in Middleton Colliery livery; a Dogfish hopper wagon, now in NCB livery; and a 13-ton open wagon in bauxite livery, as used in the 1958 special train to mark 200 years of the line.

A limited edition run of 50 model wagons numbered ‘50’ to match the newly overhauled wagon are on sale in railway’s shop for £16.50.

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