Railway in New Farnley

Railways, trams, buses, etc.
Trojan
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JoinedCOLON Sat 22 Dec, 2007 3:54 pm

Postby Trojan » Wed 16 Dec, 2009 11:39 pm

The Parksider wrote:
Trojan wrote:
The Parksider wrote:
Curlew wrote:


In addition to the exploitation of the mineral wealth of the area, we should not forget that it was only through the exploitation of the combined labour of hundreds of New Farnley workers that the Armitage family were able to enjoy their opulent lifestyle.



I assume that a Farnley Fireclay produced brick is therefore the one titled "armitage" which I see a lot of poking around old areas of Leeds.

I also see "Wortley" and "Middleton".

Wonder if anyone has seen any bricks named from other Leeds brickworks???

Armitages Brickworks were between Woodlesford and Garforth and at Howley Park Woodkirk. They now belong to Marshalls.


I stand corrected (you are always right darn you). I assume that "Farnley" may have been "the name on the brick" from the Farnley brickworks. It was I think on the Gelderd Road/Raffles lane junction and maybe took fireclay from Raffles pit. Not a big brickworks.

I certainly know about the Armitages, I married one. Unfortunately I subsequently found out she had nothing to do with the brick lot Angry
Industria Omnia Vincit
Trojan
PostsCOLON 1990
JoinedCOLON Sat 22 Dec, 2007 3:54 pm

Postby Trojan » Wed 16 Dec, 2009 11:41 pm

The Parksider wrote:
Trojan wrote:
The Parksider wrote:
Curlew wrote:


In addition to the exploitation of the mineral wealth of the area, we should not forget that it was only through the exploitation of the combined labour of hundreds of New Farnley workers that the Armitage family were able to enjoy their opulent lifestyle.



I assume that a Farnley Fireclay produced brick is therefore the one titled "armitage" which I see a lot of poking around old areas of Leeds.

I also see "Wortley" and "Middleton".

Wonder if anyone has seen any bricks named from other Leeds brickworks???

Armitages Brickworks were between Woodlesford and Garforth and at Howley Park Woodkirk. They now belong to Marshalls.


I stand corrected (you are always right darn you). I assume that "Farnley" may have been "the name on the brick" from the Farnley brickworks. It was I think on the Gelderd Road/Raffles lane junction and maybe took fireclay from Raffles pit. Not a big brickworks.

It runs in my mind that Ainsworths of Morley (very big plant operators in Yorkshire in the 50's 60's and 70's) had some connectiion with Fireclay at Farnley. (they also owned quarries and a private coalmine in Morley)
Industria Omnia Vincit
Phill_dvsn
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Postby Phill_dvsn » Thu 17 Dec, 2009 9:13 am

There are some great pics of the railway scene in and around Farnley fireclay on this site here!
(Aerial shots too)
http://www.lmrs.co.uk/html/alan_smith_gallery.html

I never realised just how extensive the farnley fireclay railway infrastructure was till i saw shots like this.
http://www.lmrs.co.uk/html/alan_smith_collection_58.html

It's not all Leeds, but much of it is, there are some excellent 1960's archive shots around the Leeds and local area to be seen.    
My flickr pictures are here
http://www.flickr.com/photos/phill_dvsn/

Because lunacy was the influence for an album. It goes without saying that an album about lunacy will breed a lunatics obsessions with an album - The Dark side of the moon!
The Parksider
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JoinedCOLON Sat 10 Nov, 2007 3:55 am

Postby The Parksider » Thu 17 Dec, 2009 10:39 pm

Phill_dvsn wrote:
There are some great pics of the railway

I never realised just how extensive the farnley fireclay railway infrastructure was till i saw shots like this.
http://www.lmrs.co.uk/html/alan_smith_collection_58.html



Phil, the works on the right of Whitehall Road up the A58 after the ringways roundabout are Ironworks AFAIK.

The rail system was extensive, and your pic seems to refelect that.

But I do not think that this site did the fireclay/bricks????

I think the fireclay works was on Gelderd road by the Raffles pit????

Thoughts for accuracy? (not that accuracy really matters when you are having fun)

Curlew
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JoinedCOLON Sun 13 Dec, 2009 8:03 am

Postby Curlew » Fri 18 Dec, 2009 12:43 pm

Chris W wrote:
Hi Curlew,

Thanks for the info there. Very interesting read.

I have discovered a map of New Farnley 1847 - 1891 showing the railway system here (you may have to enlarge the map).

http://www.francisfrith.com/new-farnley/maps/

Do you remember the school building which stood at the back of the modern day community centre? I have been trying to trace some photos, but they seem scarce!



Yes, of course, I was a pupil there.

See the Farnley Local History Group publications:

'Farnley in Focus' p17 for an excellent photo of the school.

'Aspects of Farnley' p36 has shots of the Sowden Pit - pithead gear being demolished.
Curlew
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JoinedCOLON Sun 13 Dec, 2009 8:03 am

Postby Curlew » Fri 18 Dec, 2009 12:56 pm

LeeJ wrote:
I can probably add to this as I have worked at Lettershop Group for 15 years now. We have photos of the land before and during the building of our offices, as the diggers excavated the land and filled in a tunnel that ran under neath. We also funded the removal of the bridge to I think. I can certainly try to find out owt I can.


I look forward to more on the groundwork photographs. Depending on the size of the tunnel, the excavations may have exposed the entrance to the Ashfield Dayhole?
Do you think I could pop into Lettershop for a peep at them, sometime?
Curlew
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JoinedCOLON Sun 13 Dec, 2009 8:03 am

Postby Curlew » Fri 18 Dec, 2009 1:14 pm

The Parksider wrote:
Trojan wrote:
The Parksider wrote:
Curlew wrote:


In addition to the exploitation of the mineral wealth of the area, we should not forget that it was only through the exploitation of the combined labour of hundreds of New Farnley workers that the Armitage family were able to enjoy their opulent lifestyle.



I assume that a Farnley Fireclay produced brick is therefore the one titled "armitage" which I see a lot of poking around old areas of Leeds.

I also see "Wortley" and "Middleton".

Wonder if anyone has seen any bricks named from other Leeds brickworks???

Armitages Brickworks were between Woodlesford and Garforth and at Howley Park Woodkirk. They now belong to Marshalls.


I stand corrected (you are always right darn you). I assume that "Farnley" may have been "the name on the brick" from the Farnley brickworks. It was I think on the Gelderd Road/Raffles lane junction and maybe took fireclay from Raffles pit. Not a big brickworks.


Let's be clear on this.
I have an old, glazed fireclay-brick, which is stamped "FARNLEY IRON CO., FARNLEY, LEEDS" and two unglazed, red bricks stamped simply "FARNLEY"; all were produced by the Farnley Fireclay Co. on the site adjacent to Whitehall Road in Farnley.
Curlew
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JoinedCOLON Sun 13 Dec, 2009 8:03 am

Postby Curlew » Fri 18 Dec, 2009 1:34 pm

BIG N wrote:
Hi guys - had a couple of days with nothing much to do and was trawling through some old stuff on here when I found this topic so, if you dont mind, I would like to ask a couple of questions if poss.

Someone said that their parents street cut through the old earth works of this possible railway in New Farnley and it was quite impressive to see, which street is this please and can you get a close inspection of the embankment without trespassing on peoples property, I would love to take a look if poss.

I well remember the bridge over Whitehall Rd that carried the brach into what I now know as the Fire clay works, i assumed, incorrectly it would appear, that this was terminated in a small goods yard in this area.
The buildings behind what was the recently destroyed office block of the Fireclay works are very railway in appearence and I had thought they were a goods shed of some description, these are the buildings now used by Geldards coaches.
Having looked at the direction the line ran after crossing Whithall Rd it appears to have headed away from these buildings and to some extent still appears to skirt the rear of the Lettershop group buildings even today, this is very clear if you look on Google Earth.
I guess a siding or line could have branched off towards the Fireclay works buildings but any evidence would have long been lost under the modern buildings of the Lettershop group etc.

Did this line cross Lawns Ln on a bridge or a level crossing, was the Rd dipped to the level of the railway or was it taken below the line ??

I too remember often seeing a deisel shunter stood on or close too the Whitehall Rd bridge and also remember it making the odd trip working down to the small goods yard off Whitehall Rd adjacent to the holbeck triangle with waggons loaded with Steel.

Farnley Bloke asked if anyone remembers the accident at Farnley Triangle in 1977, well I do FB, only too vividly.
I was 17 at the time and on Holiday in Morecambe with my mum and dad, dad worked on the railway at Huddersfield at that time and we saw it the day after on the news.
The "parcels" was, I'm pretty sure, one of the many empty stock workings back to Red Bank in Manchester from the newspaper traffic, the passenger train was a Liverpool to Hull Transpennine service worked by a class 126 Transpennine set and had been brought to a stand at the red protecting the junction for the Farnley branch.
At this Junction there was a facing crossover to allow movements from the Leeds direction direct access into the sidings for the branch, the Manchester emptys were making good time behind a Brush type 4 (class 47) and he was pretty much on full chat having thrashed up the bank out of Leeds.
For whatever reason, he had a green approaching the junction but the crossover was set to cross to the down line as if he was going into the sidings. If everything had been working properly he would have recieved a single amber at this point and that would have only been given after the points were set to run into the sidings, as it was, he recieved a green but was crossed onto the down main and hit the pennine head on at pretty much full power.

The driver of the mail was Hudersfield man that had worked the train from York and was a collegue of my Fathers, He said as much as soon as he saw it on the news and a phone call the next day confirmed his fears, to say it put a bit of a damper on the holiday would be an under statement.

The leading car and second vehical of the T.P.U. was stood in the yard at Farnley Junction for several weeks after the accident covered over with tarpaulins, I often think about it even now when I pass Dragon Bridge scrap yard on Whitehall Rd.

Incidentally, I am sure I read somewhere that the tramway / light rail system that crossed over Dragon bridge was used at one time to transport either creosoted telegraph poles from a plant in the Wortley area to a depot on Geldard Rd - or it could have been to transport the creosote itself ??

Thanks in advance for anymore info on this New Farnley branch


I think that you will find that the big shed to which you refer above, (built 1909?), was not, as you suggest, a rail goods-shed but the Farnley Fireclay Co. brick-making shed. Almost certainly, it would have had railed-access for trucks, but probably narrow gauge?

Curlew
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JoinedCOLON Sun 13 Dec, 2009 8:03 am

Postby Curlew » Fri 18 Dec, 2009 1:56 pm

[quotenick="The Parksider"]
Curlew wrote:
Chris W wrote:
Does anybody have any information of a railway branch that ran into New Farnley, Leeds?

The remains to which you refer are those of a mineral railway track that carried the raw materials, (coal, iron-ore and clay) to the Farnley Iron Company and Fireclay Works during the Industrial Revolution. The Company was founded in 1844 by the four Armitage brothers, sons of Edward Armitage of Farnley Hall.

From your siting near to Well Holme Farm, the track curved in a S.W. direction past the brick structures which were air-shafts for underground workings and through the field to the west of Low Moor Side Lane and the site of the now demolished Long Row (originally miners' terraced cottages) to Sowden Pit. This pit was situated to the west of Low Moor Side Lane, close to the junction with Walsh Lane. From Sowden, the railway continued in a S.S.E. direction, crossing Low Moor Side Lane and through the field to the S.W. of Walsh Lane to meet and cross Whitehall Road at a point between what is now the Jewish Cemetery and the adjacent semi-detached houses, (the gateways still remain) Here, the railway headed in a S.E. direction down what is still called the 'wagon line' to a point just before it met the footpath from Wentworth Farm across the fields to Gildersome. Here it forked, with one element heading S. to Farnley Briggs Pit, (A large pit owned by Farnley Iron Co. In 1896, 125 colliers worked here extracting ironstone and manufacturing quality coal). The other section of track continued S.E. to the pits located close to Gelderd Road at St. Bernard's Mills. These were Farnley Simpson Pit, ( another large Farnley Iron Co.-owned pit, employing 96 men in 1896 on the extraction of manufacturing grade coal and ironstone), and Farnley Wood Lift Pit (coal and ironstone).


The revival of this thread reminded me to go have a look, and your post is so so definitive.

I have a 1920's AI atlas guide for leeds and the "mineral railway" pops up from the ironworks over lawns lane swinging round by the Sowden pit, onto briggs and as you say ends up at simpson pit and farnley wood lift pit, two pits I did not know about until I double checked the route on the 1895 OS maps.

On the 1895 latter map the crossing over lawns lane sees the line split in two with a short branch to what may be another pit. However by 1920 a "reservoir" is marked at that point and I would not be suprised if materials were sent in by rail and waste taken out by rail.

The "Mineral railway" is a different animal to the main line railways being more of a tramway set across the fields to link whichever pits were working at the time to the ironworks and fireclay works destinations.

Almost like a giant train set you could pull lines up to old pits and set them out again to go to new pits, and as you indicate the pits themselves came and went so the line would change shape and destination to accomodate it.

The tramways were extensive in Wortley and farnley and of course we see them in Gipton, Austhorpe, Osmondthorpe, all over ponte Lane and Middleton where an extensive colliery tramway system existed even BEFORE the Miggy railway we know today and like the small embankment in farnley, you can see a cutting in Miggy woods that must be 250+ years old.

This was horse pulled but our Farnley line will have been engine pulled. I'm well out of my depth here but as the tramway/railway would have been smaller/lighter?? I assume smaller engines pulled smaller coal wagons than we see on the main lines into the deep pits of the later 20th century - as I say I liken the whole thing to a big train set????


I understand that the Briggs Pit was the last to close in 1922, and certainly, as far as I can remember, by the late 1940's all traces of railtrack in that area and around the Sowden Pit had 'disappeared'. The question arises, what happened to the mineral railway engines, trucks and track etc.?
Were they melted down for WW2 munitions, perhaps? Or did they
find a new life servicing another industry? Now, there's a project for you! Please let me know if you discover anything.
Curlew
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JoinedCOLON Sun 13 Dec, 2009 8:03 am

Postby Curlew » Fri 18 Dec, 2009 2:17 pm

anthonydna wrote:
"As a village, New Farnley owes its existence to the exploitation of the minerals running beneath it. The hurriedly-built terraced houses of Long Row, Playground, Furnace Row, Forge Row and West End were purpose built (using bricks manufactured at the Fireclay Works) between about 1850-55 to house the Company's workers and their families, many of whom had migrated from the area around the Low Moor Iron Co. at Low Moor, Bradford."

My grandfather Jack Downs family relocated from Low Moor to New Farnley to work in the Forge. He lived at Intake Farm on Moor Top until he died a few years back.    


Interesting, did any of your Downs men marry an Ellen Hanson? If so, that person married the daughter of the Victorian portrait artist and photographer that I am researching. A lead, perhaps?!

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