Furzebrook railway Pike brothers clay dorset industrial
For over one hundred years Pike Bros’ railway served their clay mines in the Isle of Purbeck, transporting the clay to the works and to tidal water on the river Frome, and later to their siding on the Swanage branch. Initially worked by gravity, locomotives were introduced in 1866 and an eclectic collection followed. An intricate network of branch lines ran across the heath to serve mines and open-cast pits while a lengthy branch headed westwards to serve new workings. Steam working survived until 1956 but rail use in the mines continued until 1999.
The Pike family had been mining ball clay on Purbeck since 1760 and, although the family interest is no longer, there is still an active industry today. The author’s lifelong interest in the industry and his intimate knowledge of it, together with his friendship of miners and managers, make this a very detailed and close story. It is as much about the people and personalities as about machinery and methods.
Pikes also ran steam tugs and barges on the river and across Poole harbour, building many themselves at their wharf. This aspect of their operations is not neglected and some fascinating tales are to be told.
This book is a companion to the author’s Fayles Tramways, published in 2014, and which told of the other major railway network on Purbeck. It proved very popular and the intial hardback edition is now sought after.
208 pages, 287 illustrations. Softback version
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Item location: Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, United Kingdom
The Vale of Rheidol Railway (Welsh: Rheilffordd Cwm Rheidol) is a 1ft 11 3/4 inches (603 mm) narrow gauge heritage railway that runs for 113?4 miles (18.9 km) between Aberystwyth and Devil's Bridge in the county of Ceredigion, Wales.
Until privatisation, it was the sole steam-operated line on the nationalised British Rail network, steam traction having ceased in 1968 on all other parts of the system. Unlike some other preserved railways in the United Kingdom, the Vale of Rheidol Railway has never closed, with the exception of wartime and has operated a service for tourists through its life. The railway celebrated its centenary in 2002.
The Railway is a charity, meaning the income it generates goes back into the railway, to aid in restoration and running of the steam locomotives. Buying through our online giftshop enables you to get the product you want but also donate to the railway and keep it alive.
Vale of Rheidol Trading Ltd
Company registration number: 9146470
VAT number: GB 489240712