Login   |   Register   |   
Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Photo-a-Day Archive
Photo-a-Day Archive

Photo-a-Day  (Thursday, 10th October, 2013)

Winding Room

Winding Room
Inside the winding gear room at Astley colliery.

Photo: Jeff Haydock  (HDR Nikon D90, Tokina 12-24)
Views: 5,843

Comment by: Ken R on 10th October 2013 at 00:05

Great photo of probably a triple expansion steam engine, as Cullie always growls at the diesel electrics I give this a double growl. Is this still live???

Comment by: Lizzie down under on 10th October 2013 at 04:43

Wow what a powerful picture...lots of history I bet...well done Jeff...cheers!!!

Comment by: Ernest Pyke on 10th October 2013 at 05:26

Jeff; I`ve looked at Astley Green Colliery Museum website :-
Looked at video on :-
but am no wiser in finding out if this 3,300 HP winding engine built in 1912 by Yates and Thom Ltd., Blackburn is in working order.
Another interesting website :-
After typing the above, have found
video :-
which shows this engine running.

Comment by: kath on 10th October 2013 at 07:09

a good bit of history being maintained. it looks massive

Comment by: Janice on 10th October 2013 at 10:28

The engine is in excellent condition and is very well maintained. It does not run unfortunately. The colliery houses quite a few interesting machines and engines and is well visited. The colliery is a constant work in progress and it is free to enter. They ask for donations from the visitors to help maintain it - but you are never pushed or feel pressured to make them. It is a great place for photographers!

Comment by: Marcus on 10th October 2013 at 12:41

Kath. If you think that's impressive (and it is), go take a look in Trencherfield Mill - and tha one runs too!

Comment by: Paula on 10th October 2013 at 18:05

Would there have been anything in the central area originally?

Good photo by the way, must visit.
Pass often on the E. Lancs Rd

Comment by: John H on 10th October 2013 at 22:35

Beautiful shot, very nice

Comment by: Neil Rigby on 10th October 2013 at 22:46

Paula, it is unlikely that the central area contained anything else. By leaving it free, there is working room during maintenance, and repair, possibly bringing in lifting equipment as and when required.
For something similar at Trencherfield Mill see:-


Comment by: Stew on 11th October 2013 at 16:16

The engine does run albeit on compressed air - still a beautiful sight to see in motion.

Comment by: Paula on 11th October 2013 at 19:28

Thanks Neil, have looked at the Trencherfield pic also.

Comment by: Ernest Pyke on 11th October 2013 at 22:19

Marcus; The Trencherfield engine is 2,500HP with 25"dia.HP and 44"dia.LP cylinders, 5ft stroke. Drum 26ft dia. 68rpm. This engine runs at a constant speed.
The Astley Green engine is 3,300HP with 35"dia.HP and 60"dia.LP cylinders, 6ft stroke. Drum 27ft/17ft dia.57rpm. From start to finish the "winding cycle" takes barely two minutes, 8 tons of coal and about 50 tons of rope, cages and tubs have all moved through half a mile of shaft, accelerated to nearly 60 miles per
hour in about 40 seconds and has rapidly decelerated again - to be repeated over and over again, 30 times an hour, 240 times a shift... every day.

Comment by: Art on 12th October 2013 at 01:20

Eckersleys Mill engine, was bigger than both of 'em

Comment by: Ernest Pyke on 12th October 2013 at 04:24

Ken R; Extract from ;-
The Astley No.1 Winding Engine is a twin (or double) tandem compound, that is, the steam was used
twice, firstly in the high pressure cylinders 35 inches in diameter where it entered at the full boiler
pressure of 160 p.s.i, here it partially expanded, driving the piston in the cylinder and was then
exhausted to a receiver beneath the floor. To ensure that there was always a supply of low pressure
steam at about 60 p.s.i., the exhaust steam was mixed with a supply of high pressure steam via a reducing valve. This low pressure steam then entered the low pressure cylinders 60 inches in diameter where it was again expanded to drive the larger pistons before being exhausted to external condensers. Thus there were effectively two engines each with their high and low pressure cylinders connected in tandem. Unlike a mill engine, which was intended to run at constant speed and therefore could work, if
required on only one "side", a winding engine needed the torque from both sides so that it could start with the drum and cranks in any position. For the same reason the cranks were set at right angles to one another. The power output of the winder was at least 3,000 to 3,500 b.h.p., these being official figures, which were probably exceeded from time to time.

Comment by: Jeff Haydock on 12th October 2013 at 12:15

Thanks for all the info on the engine, very interesting and for your comments and viewings.

Comment by: Ernest Pyke on 12th October 2013 at 12:35

Art; There`s very little info on Internet of Eckersley`s Mill engine to be had.
There are 3 photo`s in Album, Work, Eckersley`s Mill.
1st photo on Page 1 states flywheel is largest in country 30ft dia. Engine had a stroke of 6ft and was 1600HP.
2nd photo on Page 1 gives same info but the one comment :-
Comments by John, 10th November 2011
Atlas mill no'6 in Bolton, and Brooklands mill in Leigh had 32ft diameter flywheel, unbelievable size.
Photo on page 2 at end of 3rd row states engine is 2600HP.
So the Astley Green engine is the most powerful of the three.

Comment by: Art on 13th October 2013 at 01:19

If I quoted from google, I would accredit it.
I remember Eckersleys mill engine very well. Also, as for power, a winding engine lifting many tons of rope, cage & minerals, NEEDS more power than than one driving a flywheel, operating overhead shafting driven machines.
The flywheel on "Ecks" engine weighed 100 tons, a real "biggie"

Leave a comment?

* Enter the 5 digit code to the right of the input box. Don't worry if you make a mistake, you will get another chance. Your comments won't be lost.