Last Coals To Leeds weekend at Middleton Railway

The Middleton Railway is delighted to announce details of our main event for 2018. Last Coals To Leeds will run over the weekend of 29 & 30 September.

Last Coals to Leeds commemorates the 50th anniversary of the closure of Middleton Broom Colliery in 1968 and is sponsored by Leeds City Council under their “Love where you live” project which is intended to bring communities closer together and to respect & appreciate the areas in which they live.

Middleton has produced a children’s history of the colliery entitled “Broom Pit – Canaries and Ponies”, which will be distributed free of charge to every primary school child in Middleton Ward, where the colliery was located.  Each child will also receive a bookmark, which incorporates a detachable ticket for them to ride on the railway.

There will also be an “adult” version of this book, giving details of the colliery and those who worked there, along with its impact upon the community over the years, and also its legacy, which includes the railway.

In addition, a small photographic exhibition has been produced, which shows the colliery and its legacy.  This will tour the city before coming back to Moor Road for the main event in September.

An event book will also be produced for the weekend, along with commemorative T-shirts.

Two of the railway’s wagons are being repainted for the event.  Our 5-plank “Middleton Colliery” wagon is being repaired and repainted into its “Middleton Colliery” livery, whilst our “Dogfish” ballast wagon, which was damaged by the fire in July 2018, is to receive a repaint.  This wagon is to be repainted in NCB Black livery and lettered as a Middleton Broom Colliery internal user.

Cllr Kim Groves, Malcolm Johnson and Charles Milner (MRT) in front of a Middleton coal truck.
Photo: Jeremy Morton

Manning, Wardle 0-6-0ST “MATTHEW MURRAY” will, if time permits, be repainted green and renamed “FORWARD”, a locomotive which worked for the NCB South Yorkshire Area.

Hudswell, Clarke 0-6-0ST “SLOUGH ESTATES No 3, will be given vinyls to re-create “BLENKINSOP NINETEEN FIFTY FOUR”, the last steam locomotive ordered, and indeed used, at Broom Colliery.  This is by kind permission of the Slough & Windsor Railway Society, owners of the locomotive.

Resident Fowler 0-4-0DH “HARRY” will also be used on the day to represent the prototype Fowler diesel [423001/57] which followed the Bi-Centenary train in 1958.  This train, celebrating Middleton’s Bi-Centenary, sparked the preservation of the railway and thus the Fowler is a link back to that day.

Our guest locomotive will be 0-6-0ST No 60 [HE 3686/48] from the Aln Valley Railway.  As an ex-NCB locomotive, built in Leeds, it is an ideal visitor for this particular event and we are very grateful to the owner for the loan of this locomotive.

For the two day event, all trains will be using the Balm Road Branch of the railway and all will be stopping at Moor Road in both directions to allow visitors to choose which parts of the railway they wish to travel on.  It is intended that different locomotives will be used on each stage of the journey, with Balm Road being run in top and tail mode.

First train will be at 9:30am, the last at 5pm.


This post was written by Ian Smith.