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Trencherfield Mill Engine Steams To Centenary
Wednesday 24th September, 2008

Trencherfield Mill Engine Steams To Centenary
Trencherfield Mill Engine

Wigan’s mighty Trencherfield Mill steam engine will roar into life on Sunday to mark a very special birthday.

Mayor Rona Winkworth will officially set the giant pistons that turn the 70 tonne flywheel into motion almost 100 years to the day since it first steamed into life.

The horizontal triple expansion steam engine that powered 90,000 ring and mule spindles, employing more than 1,000 people in the town’s booming cotton industry, remains as awe inspiring today as when it was first officially unveiled on 3rd October 1908.

The days of clattering cotton are long gone and these days the tourist attraction – which is free to visitors on Sundays – rests between visits.

But despite a century in situ you can’t argue that the years have been kind to the old girls of Wigan – twin cylinders Helen and Rina.

That’s down to some fantastic restoration work back in 2004, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, but also a dedicated team from Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust who are on hand to provide the necessary TLC for the largest engine of its type still working and in its original location.

Bill Rowley, Engineering Manager for Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust said: “It’s hard to believe it’s 100 years old.

“Trencherfield Mill Engine remains a marvellous piece of engineering.

“It allows you to step back in time to a golden period of our industrial history.”

The engine built by J and E Woods of Bolton produces 2,500 horsepower, has a boiler pressure of 200lbs per square inch and ‘ate’ 200 tonnes of coal a week.

Its massive 26 feet 6 inch flywheel is capable of 26 revolutions a minute allowing 54 ropes to drive spinning machinery on all five floors of the massive Trencherfield Mill complex.

But its installation also caused quite a different stir when it was first installed.

Bill added: “It was probably one of the first places in Wigan to have a centralised power source. So while people will have been going home to light candles after work the flywheel would have powered the first electric lights in the town.”

Mayor Rona Winkworth will officially sound the engine whistle on Sunday at 1pm to mark the engine’s 100th birthday.

This weekend’s special celebration is part of a Cultural Olympiad weekend with a variety of events occurring at The History Shop and Trencherfield Mill.

All activities are free to attend. Book today on: 01942 828128.

For more information visit www.wlct.org

Events for Wigan’s launch of the Cultural Olympiad programme.

Friday 26th September
Washday Blues and Play the Game

Scrub up in our special Victorian Washday session and play some Victorian games. Booking essential.

Times: 10am, 12 noon and 2pm
Venue: The History Shop, Library Street, Wigan

Saturday 27th September
Your Past, Your Present, Your Future

Have a guided tour of the museum or take part in a special storytelling and games session. Booking essential.

Times; 10.15-11.30am and 11.45-1.00pm
Venue: History Shop, Library Street, Wigan.

Sunday 28th September
Cotton Mill & Canal Thrill

See the mighty engine in steam, take part in craft activities and a special canal boat ride!
Booking essential.

Times: 11am, 1pm and 3pm
Venue: Trencherfield Mill Engine, Wigan Pier Quarter, Pottery Road, Wigan, WN3 4DU

All activities are free to attend. Book today on: 01942 828128.

For more information www.wlct.org

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