Cockersdale watercourses and mills

The green spaces and places of Leeds
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Postby somme1916 » Tue 24 Jul, 2012 2:17 pm

geoffb wrote:
anthonydna wrote:
"So at some point, the gas board have been down Cockersdale, digging a trench under the path, and laying the gas pipe. When would this have been done, and to who (and where) were they supplying the gas?"

Not sure when but I reckon it was within the last 10-15 years, I remember seeing it on a walk. There has always been a lot of gas pipes down there though, from memory I remember a large one going under one of the bridges.

When I worked at Tingley gas works all the liquid ammonia (called liquor) was sold to a chemical works to Brothertons on Ings Road in Wakefield. Tingley acted a a storage centre for this liquor as this was piped from Birksall Works in Bradford, then piped from Tingley to Wakefield. I can recall this pipework being decomissioned in the 70s, I can also recall the pipe running adjacent to the beck by Fullneck golf course, there were numerous man holes along this route, they are probably still there, And crossed Whitehall Road adjacent to the New Lane junction.

This is probably the marker posts for this main.

Hi geoffb.....interesting story that.I used to live very near the old gasworks and remember the smell of "town"gas quite vividly.There were numerous rail sidings,junctions around there too where we used to "laike"......sounds helpful to the message thread as well,your info
May help the guys unravel the mysteries.
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Postby Si » Tue 24 Jul, 2012 4:52 pm

Thanks for the input, Geoffb, Anthonydna and Somme.
I can't be certain, but I would guess that the gas pipe taps/caps are older than 15 years. There are the remains of stone or concrete "boxes" which have a recessed top edge, as if they once had a metal lid, or small manhole cover. The boxes appear to have had a brick lining. All this is so weathered that it's all broken up and "as one" with the path. Just the metal part of the tap or pipe-cap sticks out of the path by about 3 or 4 inches. I wouldn't like to be riding a horse which stepped on one - they are hardly noticable. The markers also look old, being made of cast-iron.
I've posted a map of the area. The red circle indicates roughly where the gas pipe taps are (the ones we noticed), the blue is Cockersdale Beck (sometimes referred to as Cock Beck, or Tong Beck) and the yellow is Pudsey Beck, flowing from Black Carr Woods, passing Fulneck golf course, and joining Cockersdale at the junction of Roker Lane and Tong Lane. Whitehall Road embankment is off the bottom.            
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Postby geoffb » Tue 24 Jul, 2012 5:25 pm

That description sound right Si. There were syphon points all along the route about every 400 yards. There will be a tapping onto the main below. That is where the main was drained.

It ran through the woods opposite the Fulneck golf course on the south side. Then turned and crossed Tong Lane. Then came up the side of Dale Road under Whitehall Road, I seem to remember a metal reclaimers at the junction of New Lane and Whitehall Road where access was gained to the fields behind
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Postby Si » Tue 24 Jul, 2012 7:28 pm

Cheers, Geofb. The metal reclaimers may still be there. It certainly is on the Google Earth view.

Jim - I wonder what you think, but I've just had a quick look through previous posts on this thread, and it struck me that this old photo shows a very similar view to the place where we had lunch. We previously guessed that this photo was a mill further back up the valley, but now I think it may be the spot where we found most ruins.
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Postby Si » Tue 24 Jul, 2012 7:32 pm

Cast your mind back to this view, Jim. I think it's very similar - the leat to the left, and the bank dropping away to a flat area by the beck. The mill would be in the same place as the ruins, and about the right size. Bear in mind that this picture is taken stood in the middle of the leat.
What do you think?    
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Postby jim » Tue 24 Jul, 2012 8:05 pm

Hi Si. Its very difficult when the vegetation has developed so much in the intervening period. Perhaps a look at the various maps might help?

I'll give it a coat of looking at when I get back from steam special viewing in a couple of hours or so.
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Postby jim » Tue 24 Jul, 2012 10:41 pm

I have examined the site on old-maps Si, and am in full agreement with your identification - our pork pie spot just to the south of Middle Mill.

The old photograph you posted shows a very clear path, almost a road, to the east of the leat, of which there is no sign in the present day. This path shows clearly to the east of the leat on the 1921 1:2500 OS on old maps ref 423400, 430600, whereas the path at Lower Mill ref 423600, 430900, is that still existing to the west of that leat.

When I first came across the mill sites in around 1975 with IAR the vegetation level was similar to that shown in your posted photo. The mills themselves were represented only by fairly complete sets of foundations. Its a pity I can't remember more about what I saw at that time.

EDITED for east/west dyslexia. Sorry.
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Postby The Parksider » Wed 25 Jul, 2012 12:33 am

jim wrote:

1. Late last year I acquired copies of the three major works on pre-locomotive worked railways. In "Stone Blocks and Iron Rails, Bertram Baxter, 1966 I found this relevant entry in the gazetteer:-

Drighlington. Tramroad "worked by machinery" (?power operated incline) from staithe in Cockersdale to Lower Collieries. No details known. Opened: 1810. Traffic: coal. O.S.: SE22NW: SE23SW.

Naturally this information set me thinking. I posted on see if anyone could positively identify the site of Lower Collieries, but without success.

My next thoughts turned to the question of why such an investment would have been made to transport coal to such a small out of the way place as Cockersdale. I had considered iron working, but furnaces of the type requiring such a volume of coal would probably have left sufficient remains to show up on the 1852 map, and the staithe, even if foreshortened by dereliction, would not have reached the height necessary to form a furnace bank.

Awesome thread. Will take me a full night to take it all in.

I'm "on the other side" With Adel/Meanwood Beck being my forte!

I love the conundrum above but am not sure exactly the detail?

Couldn't "lower collieries" have existed between maps (have you checked tithe maps for pre OS), and if these collieries were very productive for a short time then why would it not be a good investment to have a rope hauled incline to get the coal up to the staithe?

Could a staithe supplying coal to local mills and industries be lucrative enough for the investment?

Just some thoughts Jim.

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Postby jim » Wed 25 Jul, 2012 1:48 am

Hi Parksider. To try to answer some of your queries:-

Lower Collieries could certainly have existed between maps, but the problem is that the majority of collieries, pits, and "old" collieries and pits are not named on most maps, and so one cannot identify which is which.

I have checked the 1850 Drighlington Tithe Map, but it does not add anything - the 1852 OS has considerably greater detail and information. I have no knowledge of a detailed earlier map - if anyone does,please let me know!

The incline would have taken coal down to the staithe, not up.The point of a "balanced" incline is to haul the empty wagons back to the top by using the weight of the coal travelling downhill to overcome any frictional losses in the operation.

The use of coal in a watermill would be negligible and for human warmth only - after all, the point of the watermill is to supply all the power required for an operation at the cost of the investment in building it in the first place, followed by whatever ongoing maintenance is necessary.

For even a level coal railway or tramway to be worth the cost and effort of building it requires (and required) a very high consumption rate by its customers. Were that not the case, there would have been a heck of a lot more railways!

Hope this addresses some of the interesting points you made.
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Postby Phill_dvsn » Wed 25 Jul, 2012 1:57 am

Has anyone noticed either 'Rope Walk' or 'Rope way' marked off on old maps near the colliery off Whitehall Road?
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