Tag Archives: Coal

Help Needed – Sentinel Lorries

Sentinel Lorries

Photo – circa 1920, taken adjacent to the Royal Hotel, Sutton Coldfield.

Line up of four Sentinel wagons in the ownership of Davenport & Co. Coal Merchants of Sutton Coldfield.

Davenports had their coal from the Cannock Chase pits delivered to the Midland Railway, later LMS, sidings in Sutton.

Does anyone have any information about these wagons, and do any of them still exist?

The registration numbers, from the left, are:  AW 3735, AW 5034,

AW 5066, AW 4976

Hednesford Railways 3

The second part of my last post, Hednesford Railways 2, went missing – the photos were in the library and according to the library information, attached to Hednesford Railways 2 – but, nowhere to be seen.  Very frustrating! So here we go again!

I shall start with the first photo again.The line that we are interested in is behind the rake of coal wagons heading off to Cannock Wood.This photo shows where the line moves away from the Cannock Wood branch, and the next shows the trackbed a little further along.The line is now approaching the Rugeley Road, which was crossed by an over-bridge.Now that there are houses on the opposite side of the road, it is not easy to find the exact spot where it crossed, but it couldn’t have been far from this point.In this photo, the line came up from the Rugeley Road and passed in front of the chimneys, passed all the buildings, went under a footbridge and up the valley for a short distance.  This is the site of the footbridge.

The footbridge was erected for miners from Hazel Slade and Rawnsley to gain access to the colliery without crossing the railway (and was used as a short-cut to get to the shops in Hednesford!).

Up the valley the line ended and the train went over a set of points which enabled it to change track and come back down the valley to the sidings to the front of the photo.  The line also carried on through to rejoin the up-line below the buildings, and travel back to Hednesford.This is the present view of the old Corn Stores, now housing the Museum of Cannock Chase, the down-line would have followed the line of the tarmac road for a short distance before swinging over to join the up-line.

If anyone has a photo of the road bridge or the footbridge, I would be very grateful for a copy.  Thank you.

Hednesford Railways 2

The previous post took care of lines to the left from Hednesford to Rugeley, now to sort the right hand ones out!  This first photo is a busy one…..From the front, view of half a coal wagon on the line to West Cannock, then the double track main line Hednesford to Rugeley and then, the first home of the Railway Preservation Society (West Midlands Branch), with the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway loco now No.9  ‘Cannock Wood’ 0-6-0T.  The next line is up to Cannock & Rugeley Colliery’s Cannock Wood pit and somewhere between that line and the pit in the background is the line to the CRC Valley pit.  The buildings to the rear of the photo are those of the Valley pit, and in between the two sets of head-gear is the old corn stores which now houses the Museum of Cannock Chase.The line to Cannock Wood crossed the Hednesford-Rugeley Road at Bates’ Corner.

It’s a bit different nowNo bridge, no general stores!   And as for the Paddy train….But now….It carries on in a similar vein – the track bed completely overgrown.  From the sidings to the bridge, the Council have put down a cycle/footpath,whichturns sharp left at the bridge and passes the former West Cannock 5s site instead of crossing the road and following the trackbed.  I think there were some objections from residents about a high level path at the bottom of their gardens – quite understandable, I think.Further up the line, approaching the level crossing, is ‘Rawnsley’ Lilleshall built No.4 0-6-0ST, formerly 2-2-2 built fot the Paris Exhibition.A similar view showing just how overgrown it has become.  Moving on towards Cannock Wood pit there is a level crossing at Hazel Slade.Well overgrown nowOne more level crossing, in Cannock Wood StreetThen the train carries on into Cannock Wood pit

Hednesford Railways 1

The view in 2009, looking towards Rugeley from Hednesford Station bridge.As it was in the late 1950s, a very busy railway location, with pits sending coal into the sidings from all directions.

Looking forward and to the left, the line leads to West Cannock Colliery No.5 and to the right, to Cannock & Rugeley Collieries at Cannock Wood and the Valley Pit.

From the rear, coal comes in from West Cannock Collierys Nos. 1, 3 and 4 – situated in the  Pye Green Valley.

The picture shows the site of West Cannock No.1 and No.4 Plants circa 1920s, it looks north east towards the top end of Green Heath Road.  No.4 Plant is just above the top of the chimney and steam can be seen coming from its winder stack.  The brickworks is the furthest building centre/right at the base of the mound.  A fourth shaft to the north of the brickworks has been covered by the mound.  The picture shows the enormity of the West Cannock Company’s operation in the middle of Pye Green Valley.

From here, the railway ran down to Hednesford Station via a bridge under the road by the ‘Bridge’ public house.  It then went through the left-hand arch (looking towards Rugeley) and into the sidings.With the closure of West Cannock Collieries 1-4, lines to the left found little usage.  The old station building, imposingly symetrical on the overbridge, castle-like dominated the access to the platforms.  One of  Bescot’s 0-8-0s, 49373, sorted out the empties to transfer to the collieries.

On the other side of the bridge, the sidings opened out into the marshalling yard.William Stanier designed 2-cylinder 2-6-4T no.2579, built by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow in 1936 and withdrawn in June 1962, runs in with a Rugeley Trent Valley to Walsall local passenger.  The station was demolished after the passenger service was withdrawn in January 1965 and the sidings were removed following the closure of almost all local collieries in the 1970s.  The signal box (formerly No.1), seen behind the water tower remains in operation. No.2 signal box closed on January 14th 1973 and No.3 from 18th December 1977.  Passenger services were reinstated from Walsall to Hednesford in 1989, using newly built platforms.  The service was later extended to Rugeley and Stafford, although, by 2009, it terminated at Rugeley Trent Valley.This is a cold view of West Cannock No.5, which continued producing coal until 1982.  The locomotive in the photo is Bagnall 0-6-0ST  ‘Topham’ 2193/1922.