Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Wigan Album



Old mine tub at Crooke
Photo: Rev David Long
Views: 767
Item #: 33479
A comment on the P-a-D for 2/1/2022 mentioned the 'replica tippler' hidden in the trees beyond the canal. Here's what's actually there - a rescued tub on a short length of narrow track, set between an even shorter length of full-gauge track. A sign to the left says, if I remember rightly, that this is a work in progress..... Jan. 2020.

Comment by: fred on 3rd January 2022 at 09:42

what will the lock and chain do? if you can lift the tub the chain won't stop you

Comment by: Albert.S. on 3rd January 2022 at 09:59

Handled many of these tubs in the very late forties, and early fifties, at the top of the pit above the screens, taking out the colliers tallies for recording. Then down the pit lashing them on with a lashing on chain to the haulage steel rope, to be hauled along the tunnels to the pit bottom, and loaded into the cage, also when needs be, spinning them round on a slot londing. Then when I progressed to tunneller, loading them with rock, after the fireman had fired the explosives. Every miner certainly earned his pay.

Comment by: Ray Smyth on 3rd January 2022 at 10:37

Fred, The lock and chain on the wheel will prevent anyone from pushing
the truck along the track, allowing it to leave the rails. If it were mine,
I would have made a steel clip and and welded it around the wheel & rail.

Comment by: PeterP on 3rd January 2022 at 15:43

Could just tack weld the wheels to the rail no unsightly chains or clamps and the tub would look in keeping with the rails.

Comment by: PeterP on 3rd January 2022 at 19:28

Why is there normal gauge track being used along with narrow gauge track? Also the narrow gauge track is heavy duty track and would not have been used for light weight tubs.

Comment by: Rev David Long on 3rd January 2022 at 21:30

Peter - there’s a bit of artistic licence in view. I doubt if any such tubs were used here to tip coal into barges - as I remember they were transport tubs, as Albert suggests, for taking stuff inbye. Coal tubs were much bigger - taking coal and waste to the washers from the pit. From there it would be tipped into full size railway wagons - and it would be them which used the tippler.
The local group have found a tub, rescued it, and are trying to find the best way to display a bit of local history. I expect if someone gave them some lighter rail they’d happily use it….

Comment by: PeterP on 3rd January 2022 at 23:16

Rev Long this is how history gets changed by giving artistic license.This size of tub was probably pushed by hand and would have held about1/2 to 3/4 ton of coal. Supplies of this era would have been mainly wooden props or . steel girders with timber to lag the steel. None of which would have fitted into the mine tub . They would use open sided carts.

Comment by: Albert.S on 4th January 2022 at 09:54

Correct. There were, in relation to differing types of rail vehicles down the mines to transport other items such as metal girders, wooden pit props, and the wooden roof supports, very heavy equipment such as coal cutters, and numerous other very heavy, and bulky equipment. The type of pit tub shown went up the pit filled with coal, went through the check weigh men, to the tipplers, these turned the tubs over, emptying the coal onto a Shute, and the coal would go onto the screens for the pit brow ladies to get rid of the rubbish, dirt etc. When the tub came out of the tipper, the colliers’ tallies, which were threaded through a hole in the tub, with string, were removed by a lad, and with many others from that day kept as a collier’s record. The tub would then do a circuit back to the pit head, and sent back down the pit, to renew its task.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 4th January 2022 at 11:43

The rail gauge down the pit was the same gauge for all the types of the differing equipment conveyancing vehicles that were used. When the the cleaned coal left the screens it was tipped directly into ordinary railway wagons. I suppose when the rock, and dirt, in the tubs that came up the pit from tunnel work etc. That would go unheeded from the tipper, along the screens, straight into the railway wagons, there was no other provision otherwise.

Comment by: Albert on 4th January 2022 at 13:23

The tub probably came from the clay pits at Marsh Green

Comment by: Rev David Long on 4th January 2022 at 17:05

I'm not sure what era this tub comes from, Peter - I should think, as it's pressed steel, that it's mid-20th century. The two brackets will have held dis-engaging gear for when it was hooked up in a train - otherwise it would have been attached to a haulage rope by a chain with a Lancashire knot - and 'my' history is that such tubs did carry supplies inbye - like chock blocks, which would have fallen off flat trolleys, given the angles some tracks were sat at as the floor heaved up.
Similar sized tubs may have been used for taking coal out in the past - but larger, high-sided tubs made far more economical use of winding time and energy.
There are pics of a similar (might be the same?) tub being dug up in woods 'somewhere in Lancashire':

Comment by: Alice on 4th January 2022 at 18:34

Marsh Green Albert ? That’s interesting , as someone who came from there . I remember large old wheels stuck in the mud in the clay pits we called the fields . That was our world Albert as kids . Are there any pictures of what the now known clay pits , originally looked like ?

Comment by: Cyril on 4th January 2022 at 20:48

Alice I too remember the big wheel on a large wooden beam frame in what we called the clayhole, it did have a bit of steel cable attached which was used as a swing, there were also rail lines as described by Albert and David running along the ground, this would have been in the 1950s to early 1960s, and we at the time wondered if that wheel along with a cable had been used to transport tubs of clay along the rails up to the brickworks before they began to use dumper trucks, they also had rails running to the nearby slag heap with men filling tubs with slag ash to take to the brickworks, apparently this was used to manufacture a sort of fly ash brick.

There was also the remains of a mineral line from when the brickworks was Orrell colliery and which ran down towards Crooke, whether this went to the River Douglas Navigation or to the later built canal at Crooke I couldn't say.

Comment by: Alice on 5th January 2022 at 00:55

Thanks Cyril, as child, all I remember was this very large wheel in the mud, never once did we question where it came from or what it was for. Now,
seventy plus years later, I am asking that question. Feels like only yesterday we were clambering over this piece of our history. It's quite haunting how time moves so quickly..

Comment by: Albert.S. on 5th January 2022 at 09:14

When I was working the Marsh Green beat, On a cold winter’s night, it was a pleasure to stop off at the brick works to get feeling back into the bones. With my bicycle. If I remember rightly, I recollect having to manoeuvre it through a farm yard, to get to the brick works.

Comment by: Barrie on 5th January 2022 at 17:19 those who are interested in the village of Crooke and its history including how this tub was found and donated to the community.

Comment by: Val Bradshaw on 7th January 2022 at 15:32

I remember these at John Pit, Taylor Pit and Giants Hall. We used to play around these in the late 50’s early 60s before Princess Road was built.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 8th January 2022 at 11:21

I had forgotten Reverend David that you had worked down a mine in the Kent coalfield. I suppose in your time the passage of coal from the coal face to the pit bottom was more advanced, from the times of the early fifties.

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