TRAVEL NORTH - 39: Guisborough Circular, Part 2: Stations, Junctions, Lineside Features

Let's begin the journey at Middlesbrough in the early 1950s

A8 4-6-2T with non-corridor stock enters Middlesbrough Station over Sussex Street level crossing from Thornaby (Darlington) direction with a train of mixed pre-1948 passenger stock. These locos were rebuilt in 1920s from Raven H1 4-4-4T
A8 4-6-2T with non-corridor stock enters Middlesbrough Station over Sussex Street level crossing from Thornaby (Darlington) direction with a train of mixed pre-1948 passenger stock. These locos were rebuilt in 1920s from Raven H1 4-4-4T | Source
Race Special from BR Midland Region behind an unidentifiable 'Black Five' (Class 5 4-6-0)  stands at Middlesbrough Station pre-1954 (remainder of overall roof still in situ)
Race Special from BR Midland Region behind an unidentifiable 'Black Five' (Class 5 4-6-0) stands at Middlesbrough Station pre-1954 (remainder of overall roof still in situ) | Source
Darlington 4MT 2-6-4 Fairburn tank loco 42085 leaves Middlesbrough for Saltburn past Guisborough Junction with local stopping train. (Note dock cranes in background and steel-bodied twin-articulated coach set behind loco, Gresley teak set beyond).
Darlington 4MT 2-6-4 Fairburn tank loco 42085 leaves Middlesbrough for Saltburn past Guisborough Junction with local stopping train. (Note dock cranes in background and steel-bodied twin-articulated coach set behind loco, Gresley teak set beyond). | Source

Before embarking on your virtual train ride to Guisborough - it's still possible as far as where Nunthorpe Junction was but you'd have to travel on to Ayton and walk/take a bus on to Pinchinthorpe, on the way to Battersby - here are a few images of 1950s Middlesbrough Station. The view of the excursion train was taken before the remaining part of Thomas Prosser's overall roof was dismantled and the new canopies were extended along the platforms.

The overall roof was destroyed in an air raid on Middlesbrough, 3rd August, 1942 when four 500kg bombs fell on the station area and severely damaged a V1 2-6-2 tank loco and several coaches of its train. My family were seeing off Dad back to his bivouac on the castle 'green' at Richmond (not far from Catterick Garrison) via Darlington before he went overseas to North Africa. His train had left the station before the siren went off and the others (his mother, father and younger sister Lorna) had gone down into the air raid shelter.

Middlesbrough had been damaged considerably during WWII, but nowhere near as bad as Hull, the red glow of which l am told could be seen from as far away as York, (which was also bombed around the same time, on the Bank Holiday in the same month of 1942), named the 'Baedeker Raid' because the bombs were dropped on the historic city itself.

A look at a railway system that began to disappear before Dr Richard Beeching was appointed by Ernest Marples in the MacMillan government of the 1950s-1960s. Abundant archive material, maps and photographs augment the narrative.

Lost Railways of North and East Yorkshire

Along the branch at Ormesby Station, renamed Marton

Class A8 69862 descends the bank from Nunthorpe into Ormesby Station, now considerably remodelled and renamed Marton due to the proximity of James Cook's birthplace nearby in Stewart's Park
Class A8 69862 descends the bank from Nunthorpe into Ormesby Station, now considerably remodelled and renamed Marton due to the proximity of James Cook's birthplace nearby in Stewart's Park | Source
Middlesbrough-Guisborough Railway route - Ormesby is the first station up the 1 in 44 bank (a steep climb for a steam loco with a train of coaches or wagons - the route was also used by iron ore traffic from Battersby); Nunthorpe next before junction
Middlesbrough-Guisborough Railway route - Ormesby is the first station up the 1 in 44 bank (a steep climb for a steam loco with a train of coaches or wagons - the route was also used by iron ore traffic from Battersby); Nunthorpe next before junction | Source
An unfinished (coal cells look too clean) model of Ormesby Station as it looked in the 1950s - situated in nearby Ormesby Hall (a mile or so east of the station, open to the public at weekends in summer-autumn)
An unfinished (coal cells look too clean) model of Ormesby Station as it looked in the 1950s - situated in nearby Ormesby Hall (a mile or so east of the station, open to the public at weekends in summer-autumn) | Source
Ormesby Station as it was at around the turn of the 20th Century, well before road widening and house building in the neighbourhood. The station was over a mile west of the village
Ormesby Station as it was at around the turn of the 20th Century, well before road widening and house building in the neighbourhood. The station was over a mile west of the village | Source

After first establishing north of the Tees between Shildon via Darlington to Stockton riverside, the S&DR crossed to exploit the mineral wealth of Old Cleveland around Guisborough. By the time the North Eastern Railway took over the S&DR in 1863 (with a preferential share offer), the system was well established around the south shore of the Tees between Yarm and Saltburn down to Slapewath and westward to Nunthorpe.

The S&DR was also instrumental in the development of the South Tees area's industry as rivals of the North Yorkshire & Cleveland Railway and Cleveland Railway respectively.

The Origins of Railway Enterprise: The Stockton & Darlington Railway 1821-1863

Nunthorpe

Nunthorpe Station 1887, twenty-three years after the North Eastern Railway absorbed the Stockton & Darlington Railway and its branches - platform level was raised in the later 19th Century according to requirements to ease alighting and boarding
Nunthorpe Station 1887, twenty-three years after the North Eastern Railway absorbed the Stockton & Darlington Railway and its branches - platform level was raised in the later 19th Century according to requirements to ease alighting and boarding | Source
Nunthorpe again, this time in the mid-late 1950s - note the Series II Land rover at the right
Nunthorpe again, this time in the mid-late 1950s - note the Series II Land rover at the right | Source
Lever frame with gate wheel (right) and modern instruments, Nunthorpe (original instruments were positioned on a shelf above the levers, casings made of wood)
Lever frame with gate wheel (right) and modern instruments, Nunthorpe (original instruments were positioned on a shelf above the levers, casings made of wood) | Source

The Middlesbrough & Guisborough Railway (M&GR), part of the Stockton & Darlington network and latterly North Eastern Railway/LNER/BR(NE)

(Imagine you're on a train out of Middlesbrough in the 1950s):

You have left Thomas Prosser's 1877 station, minus its high arched overall roof*, the remainder of which has been removed after awnings were erected in the years after WWII. After first travelling east the points are switched to allow the train across onto the Stockton & Darlington's branchline heading south towards the Cleveland Hills.

Your train begins to climb the one in forty-four incline to Ormesby, the first station I sometimes travelled to and from this station in the 1960s, to begin with to Scout camp at Commondale in the Esk Valley via Battersby in 1960, latterly to or from Scarborough when the buses were prevented from running over the moors in the early 1963 snow drifts, and before the Scarborough branch from Whitby was closed early in 1965.

[The trains I took were the early Metro-Cammell diesel multiple units (dmu's), introduced in a bid to reduce running costs and therefore perhaps save branches from closure. In steam days there were reversals necessary at Battersby, Guisborough, Saltburn, Whitby and Scarborough, when on longer trains the loco ran around its train except at Scarborough when it pushed the train past Falsgrave signal cabin into the Central Station for the last few hundred yards. The dmu drivers only had to change driving cabs. The measure still didn't save branches, however]

Nunthorpe is a typical NER station, now looking a bit dejected and a shadow of its former, busier self without the buildings on the down (Battersby/Whitby) platform. Lifting barriers now protect road users and train crew.

The station opened in 1854 and served a local population of around 570. In 1911, however, 20,799 tickets were issued. These would have been mostly commuters travelling into Middlesbrough. A year before WWI 241 tons of barley and 34 wagon loads of livestock (mainly cattle) were handled by station staff.

An NER track diagram from 1898 shows sidings for Marton Lane Siding and Depots (with C Bolckow and tenants listed as tenants) and the Morton Carr siding (trader: T Curry) and Morton Grange siding (trader: J Hughill. The Railway Clearing House (RCH) points to the station being able to handle all types of passenger and goods traffic, and it was equipped with a 2 ton manually operated crane. The station closed to goods traffic on 10th August, 1964.

Currently the station is one of three passing points on the Whitby Branch, and Nunthorpe is the only one with working semaphore signals. Both platforms are signalled for departures towards Middlesbrough, only the eastern platform being signalled for Whitby-bound services (still a predominantly commuter-oriented station). The signalman hands over a token for the first section to Battersby for Whitby trains. There is a remote-operated token machine at Battersby, Glaisdale and Whitby. The Whitby branch is usually operated with one train on the branch between Nunthorpe and Whiby at any time. On summer Sundays two trains may operate on the branch when they cross at Glaisdale.

Nunthorpe East Junction marks the erstwhile junction for the Battersby route with the original line of the M&GR. Known by the NER as Nunthorpe Junction, it was renamed Nunthorpe East by the LNER (1923-47). The M&GR branch is a walkway now, reaching to Waterfall Viaduct at Slapewath from a few hundred yards away from this former junction.

Chaloner Junction - Cleveland Railway to Middlesbrough & Guisborough

This is the old Cleveland Railway Chaloner Junction signal cabin near Pinchinthorpe Station, half-buried in the undergrowth and hidden by tree growth - picture by Barry Burns
This is the old Cleveland Railway Chaloner Junction signal cabin near Pinchinthorpe Station, half-buried in the undergrowth and hidden by tree growth - picture by Barry Burns | Source
The junction at Low Cross near Pinchinthorpe, where the Cleveland Railway ran from the Chaloner mines (north of Guisborough) to the Middlesbrough & Guisborough route
The junction at Low Cross near Pinchinthorpe, where the Cleveland Railway ran from the Chaloner mines (north of Guisborough) to the Middlesbrough & Guisborough route | Source

Chaloner Junction, as was, marks the beginning of the two mile branch to Bolckow Vaughan's Chaloner Mine, opened in 1873. It crossed the main road on the level and followed the contours around the broad dale to the mine at the back (north) of Guisborough.

Output began at the mine in 1872 and it is considered a branch was opened from the Cleveland Railway in 1870 to bring in building materials, although a branch had first been proposed in 1864. In 1879 the mine was connected 'inbye' (underground) to Upsall. A large stationary engine was established on the surface at the mine to help with underground movements. After that the Chaloner Branch was used largely for moving coal and timber to the mine workings. When the branch came into NER ownership in 1882 within a short time the track was lifted but for a short length at the junction in 1919. The trackbed is still visible, although largely overgrown, behind a row of cottages close to Pinchinthorpe Station. In the other direction, across a narrow narrow road that used to lead onto the Guisborough road from Pinchinthorpe, the trackbed is still also visible for a few hundred yards.

There was also an incline to Bolckow Vaughan's short-lived Crowell Mine near the road junction. Walker Maynard & Company sank trial shafts at a site known as Tocketts Mill near the north-east of Guisborough, from where a branch left the lower part of the Chaloner Branch over two miles of rough terrain. A large pitch-pine viaduct was built to carry the line over the Chaloner Mine to Guisborough Road near Howl Beck. This project turned out to be a failure and the line saw very little traffic during its short life.

Pinchinthorpe

This is the original M&GR station building on the east side of the bridge from the NER one, also now a private residence next to the nature park by the A173
This is the original M&GR station building on the east side of the bridge from the NER one, also now a private residence next to the nature park by the A173 | Source
This is Pinchinthorpe Station in 1908 looking east towards Hutton Gate and Guisborough
This is Pinchinthorpe Station in 1908 looking east towards Hutton Gate and Guisborough | Source
Pinchinthorpe Station in June, 1965, over a year after the closure to passengers, not long before rails are lifted. Trackbed is now a public footpath and station building is a private residence. There's a brick waiting shelter on the down platform
Pinchinthorpe Station in June, 1965, over a year after the closure to passengers, not long before rails are lifted. Trackbed is now a public footpath and station building is a private residence. There's a brick waiting shelter on the down platform | Source
This is Roseberry Topping from Newton-under-Roseberry, a couple of  miles south-west of Pinchinthorpe - the phrygian cap shape came about after subsidence due to mining on its western face
This is Roseberry Topping from Newton-under-Roseberry, a couple of miles south-west of Pinchinthorpe - the phrygian cap shape came about after subsidence due to mining on its western face | Source
Pinchinthorpe-Guisborough 3rd Class ticket, value 6d (sixpence - now 2.5p)
Pinchinthorpe-Guisborough 3rd Class ticket, value 6d (sixpence - now 2.5p) | Source

Pinchinthorpe Station

Originally sited east of the original level crossing opened 25th February, 1854. A new station to the west of this crossing was authorised on 21st December, 1876 when the level crossing was substituted by a road bridge.

The station that served a local population of 287 in 1911 and issued roughly 7,500 tickets that year was renamed plain Pinchinthorpe on April 1st 1929 (some pen-pusher's idea of an April Fool's Day joke?) Twenty-two years later on 29th October, 1951 the station was closed to passengers and goods.

There was at the station a three lever Mackenzie & Holland ground frame. There had been a single lever to work the up distant signal. The NER listed a private siding here for a 'D. Baker' who was responsible for the Pinchinthorpe Powder Magazine (explosives for use at the nearby Crowell Mine),

The Railway Clearing House entry states that the station could only handle passenger and ordinary goods traffic. Indications on the ground across the trackbed from the old (M&GR) station house are that there was a small coal depot here in what is now the car park for the nature park accessed from the east side of the overbridge.

The Guisborough area - physical, with locations by name

Low Cross Junction

marks the original M&GR branch to the Cod Hill Mines. The branch ran up the main street of Hutton Village to the foot of the escarpment behind and reached the ironstone workings on a gradient of 1 in 19.

Hutton Gate and Hutton Junction

Early map of Hutton Gate station  - the area has been absorbed by an expanding Guisborough
Early map of Hutton Gate station - the area has been absorbed by an expanding Guisborough | Source
Another view of Hutton Gate Station with its distinctive platform signal cabin - an Ivatt 4MT arrives with a train from Guisborough for Middlesbrough
Another view of Hutton Gate Station with its distinctive platform signal cabin - an Ivatt 4MT arrives with a train from Guisborough for Middlesbrough | Source
This is the station building at Hutton Gate now - it was originally a private station of Sir J W Pease's family, then a public station building and now in private hands again
This is the station building at Hutton Gate now - it was originally a private station of Sir J W Pease's family, then a public station building and now in private hands again | Source
A view east of Hutton Junction. To the left is Guisborough Station, ahead is Slapewath and Boosbeck
A view east of Hutton Junction. To the left is Guisborough Station, ahead is Slapewath and Boosbeck | Source

Hutton Gate Station was originally built as a private station without goods handling facilities to cater for Sir Joseph Pease's Hutton Hall Estate. The station was eventually closed on 1st October, 1903 after the failure of Sir Joseph Pease's bank. It was reopened as a public station on 1st January, 1904 and stayed open as an unstaffed halt and in the end shabby until the withdrawal of scheduled passenger services on 2nd March, 1964.

There was a distinctive brick built signal cabin adjacent to the platform with a frame five feet above track level. The down distant signal was an electrically-operated repeater and the frame had twenty working levers with four spares.

RCH records show the station was only able to handle passenger traffic, although there is a separate entry for the Hutton Gate Depot and siding. To the west of Hutton Gate Station a branch left the main running lines to the Belmont and Hunter Hill ironstone workings.

Hutton Junction marks the connecting line from the M&GR to the CR. When Guisborough Station signal cabin was closed on 18th March, 1932 Hutton Junction signal cabin - a 12'X10' brick structure with a nineteen lever frame 7'-9" above rail level - was renamed Guisborough. Frame details were changed to 20 levers with six spares and the cabin structure was changed to 11'-10"X 10'-3". The distant signal was an electrically operated repeater. The line into Guisborough Station was the first part of the M&GR to close altogether after passenger traffic finished. After that goods traffic carried on to Blackett Hutton until the line was taken out of use on 16th March, 1965. Between the junction and the station the M&GR had been crossed over by the CR and traces of that overbridge are still to be seen alongside the old M&GR trackbed.

Plans have been lodged to redevelop the old Blackett & Hutton factory site as a town park.

Belmont Mines Junction

Access was controlled to this new branch that was opened around 1901/1902, serving Belmont Mine that had been re-opened in 1907 by Bolckow Vaughan & Co. The first ironstone shipment was taken out in August, 1909, the last left in February, 1921. A three lever temporary ground Frame, named as 'Belmont Mine Siding Ground Frame' was installed at the junction with the NER's running lines.

Guisborough station and motive power depot

This is Guisborough Station again, in the 1960s in the last days of steam with Middlesbrough V1 67647
This is Guisborough Station again, in the 1960s in the last days of steam with Middlesbrough V1 67647 | Source
A train is pushed back out of Guisborough Station by an unidentified tank locomotive - heading east for Loftus - past Guisborough's small motive power depot, a sub-shed of Middlesbrough
A train is pushed back out of Guisborough Station by an unidentified tank locomotive - heading east for Loftus - past Guisborough's small motive power depot, a sub-shed of Middlesbrough | Source
Another view of the Guisborough Station model with an unidentified Class G5 in BR livery at the head of its (unseen) train - the accuracy is breathtaking.
Another view of the Guisborough Station model with an unidentified Class G5 in BR livery at the head of its (unseen) train - the accuracy is breathtaking. | Source
A derelict Guisborough Station after closure in the spring of 1964 - glass broken at canopy end near passenger entrance
A derelict Guisborough Station after closure in the spring of 1964 - glass broken at canopy end near passenger entrance | Source
This is where Guisborough Station used to be - now a health centre and car park behind Westgate
This is where Guisborough Station used to be - now a health centre and car park behind Westgate | Source

Guisborough Station

A fairly compact site with a single platform and overall roof joining the station master's house, booking office and goods shed. In 1911 the station served a population of 7,453 and records indicate 72,222 tickets issued. Two years on, 1,059 tons of round timber and 122 wagon loads of livestock were handled.

The Guisborough signal cabin was an 11'-2" brick built structure with 14 working levers and a frame 4'-9" above rail level. The down distant and up advance starter signals were electically operated repeaters.

RCH records inform that the station was capable of handling all types of goods and passenger traffic, and the goods depot was well equipped with a 6 ton manually operated crane. The NER records show private sidings for the Chaloner Mines, for Bolckow Vaughan & Co Ltd and Hutton Gate Depots for Sir J W Pease and his tenants. RCH records list private sidings for Hutton Gate Depots and Siding and Chaloner Mines.

After closure of the station signal cabin in 1932 the two tracks into the station became two single lines for operating purposes. The former up line was used for passenger traffic into the station and the former down side was relegated to goods. A three lever ground frame was released by the signal cabin at the junction to operate the points for the bay platform and loco depot. The goods yard points were hand operated short armed 'throw levers'. After the branch was closed the station was demolished in May 1967 and a health centre built on the site.

Guisborough Motive Power Depot (mpd)

The shed structure was single road, with a 42' turntable in the yard for turning tender locomotives.

Allocations in LNER days were:

Bogie Tank Passenger (BTP) 0-4-4 Numbers 226, 358, 416, 595 and 1436 (the latter working as a steam 'autocar' (push-pull) with 'porthole' driver's compartment coach at either end that was used between 1923-1929 (this had been an NER service prior to Grouping); F8 2-6-2 tank loco from July 1929- November 1930; 12 cylinder Sentinel Railcar No.2283 'Old Blue' (these were named after the more famous stage or mail coaches in the area) from November 1930-September 1941; G5 0-4-4 tank engine 1883 from September, 1941.

Allocations in British Railways days: *G5 0-4-4 tank engine 67281 (formerly 1883) until shed closure 20th September, 1954.

*These engines did not survive the 1950s and were replaced by dmu's by 1958. All engines were scrapped at Darlington, none taken into preservation. However, one is being built from new at Shildon at the RRNE


Slapewath, and Waterfall Viaduct

Slapewath 1894 map - the railway ran from Guisborough along this way to several mines and to Boosbeck on the way to Loftus and Whitby
Slapewath 1894 map - the railway ran from Guisborough along this way to several mines and to Boosbeck on the way to Loftus and Whitby | Source
Waterfall Viaduct near Slapewath in the early 20th Century with a mineral train crossing
Waterfall Viaduct near Slapewath in the early 20th Century with a mineral train crossing | Source
This is Waterfall Viaduct in a more recent view - the structure is listed, i.e., historic structure
This is Waterfall Viaduct in a more recent view - the structure is listed, i.e., historic structure | Source

Hutton Junction to Slapewath Junction

Spa Wood Junction was a mile and 1,147 yards from Hutton Junction. The NER recorded a 9' X 12' brick signal cabin structure with a frame made up of twelve working levers and two spares at a working level 13'-6" from rail level. The base of the cabin was 9' X 7'. The branch serving Spawood Mine was controlled from here. Opened in 1853 under the auspices of the Weardale Iron Company, the mines at Spawood were abandoned in 1890, and the workings were taken over by Sir B Samuelson & Co to supply their Newport Ironworks on the Tees. In 1917 the mine was taken over again, this time by Dorman Long (situated between South Bank and Grangetown) and they closed it finally in 1933 during the slack period. The mine was never re-opened, possibly either because it was worked out or the stone would have cost too much to retrieve, set against the profit from steel-making with the product achieved from this mine.

Beyond Guisborough: Belmont Mine buildings and Lingdale Mine

This is more or less what is left of the Belmont ironstone mine...
This is more or less what is left of the Belmont ironstone mine... | Source
Lingdale Mine south-east of Boosbeck in 1960, what many ironstone mines in the area would have looked like. In another couple of decades this site would resemble Belmont now. All the mines in the area were worked out - all ironstone is imported now
Lingdale Mine south-east of Boosbeck in 1960, what many ironstone mines in the area would have looked like. In another couple of decades this site would resemble Belmont now. All the mines in the area were worked out - all ironstone is imported now | Source
Claphow Bridge between Boosbeck and Brotton - now demolished - was originally built singly then reinforced due to (ironstone) mining subsidence
Claphow Bridge between Boosbeck and Brotton - now demolished - was originally built singly then reinforced due to (ironstone) mining subsidence | Source

Slapewath - Waterfall Viaduct

Built between 1858 and 1862 by the Cleveland Railway and crosses the Spa Gill to take ironstone from mines in the district to Normanby Jetty on the south bank of the Tees and to furnaces in the Ironmasters' District of Middlesbrough. The line was closed to traffic on 30th April, 1960, the last train to use the viaduct crossed on 2nd March, 1964 during an inspection by the Chief Civil Engineer for Teesside.

During use the bridge was officially numbered GUH1 Bridge No.7 at 10 miles 63 chains from the datum post. After closure the viaduct was sold to Mr and Mrs Frankland-Jones by British Railways Board (Regional) on 12th September, 1972.

There was a Frankland-Jones on the Electoral Roll for Guisborough in 2002, thereafter there is no record. Through third-party correspondence, Charles Morris the Chairman of the Cleveland Industrial Archaeological Society thought it likely to be part of Lord Guisborough's estate but others maintain it may be owned by the Skelton and Gilling Estates. Enquiries to either brought no result. Richard Murphy led a campaign to acquire listed status and therefore preservation for the viaduct. He got in touch with Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council about land ownership at the site and they confirmed it was not theirs but could not say whose it was. Stewart Ramsdale, R&CBC Conservation Officer answered:

'Dear Mr Murphy, I understand from my engineering colleagues that notification of the demolition of the viaduct would not be required. The notification/approval system apparently applies to buildings rather than structures. I also understand that while the notification system is in the public domain, and therefore accessible to members of the public, there is no requirement to publish notifications. This is probably because the system relates to public safety rather than a concern for buildings. Good luck with your endeavours'.


An enquiry through the Land Registry also provided little information as the thirteen properties listed were cottages, farms and a sawmill. Other enquiries let to the knowledge that the land was freehold either side of the Whitby road in the area around the structure. it also appears apart from various photographs no-one had ever published a historical account of the structure. Less in evidence is the bridge that once crossed the Whitby road to Skelton Park pit, at the junction of which there are structural remains at its eastern end. On 2nd September Mr Murphy wrote to English Heritage, asking for listing of the viaduct based on these claims to specific architectural and historical interest:

  • It is over 150 years old
  • It is the only disused viaduct of stone construction in East Cleveland remaining, Larpool (at Whitby) and Skelton - both listed - being built of brick
  • There are bridges to the west which form part of the structure of the disused railway between Guisborough and Boosbeck that have already been listed. They seem to be architecturally and historically of a lesser interest
  • Slapewath Viaduct has a very important role in the history of both ironstone mining and the development of the East Cleveland railway network. Aside from the two other structures mentioned above, all others have been dismantled or are in a poor state of disrepair. Upgang, Staithes Newholm Beck and Sandsend (near Whitby) viaducts were sold as scrap half a century ago and both Sandsend and Kettleness tunnels are unsafe and in a poor state.

In the months afterward Mr Murphy went on in his quest to gain listed status for Waterfall Viaduct. The preservation of this handsome, once necessary but now neglected part of Cleveland's industrial heritage was never far from his thoughts. At last, in December 2011 he received an e-mail from Peter Rowe of Tees Archaeology, telling him he had been successful. He felt much better for knowing that.

Slapewath Signal Cabin was one mile, 1,622 chains from Hutton Junction according to NER records. An original 14' X 12' wood built cabin with a frame of fifteen working and three spares was 11'-9" above rail level. This was superseded by a 20' X 12' wood built cabin with a twenty-four lever frame and six spares. Both up and down distants were electronically repeated;

Slapewath Depot controlled from a three lever ground frame for the Depot which was deemed redundant on 21st April, 1907. According to NER records there were the following private sidings here:

Siding Reference Trader(s)

Aysdalegate Mines

Skelton Mines Bell Brothers

Slapewath Depots and Siding Public Use

Slapewath Mines Sir B Samuelson & Co. Ltd

Spa Mines Gjers, Mills & Co.

Waterfall Mines Cargo Fleet Iron Co.

RCH records show that Slapewath could only handle ordinary goods traffic; sidings were listed for Aysdalegate Mines, Skelton Mines, Skelton Park Pit Depot and siding, Slapewath Depot and Siding, Slapewath Mines, Spa Mines and Spawood Mines

Next - Mines and (industrial) Tramways the M&GR and CR served

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19 comments

old albion profile image

old albion 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

Alan. Your research ability astounds me, regardless of you subject. 'First Class' here.

Voted up and all.

Graham.


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 3 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) Author

Thanks Graham. As I've explained to Nell in the previous one, this is my back yard and I've got more yet. This one's by no means finished yet, and then there'll be part three of the 'Guisborough Circular'.

Enjoy.


lions44 profile image

lions44 2 years ago from Auburn, WA

I'm reading a book on the Great Western Railway and have become fascinated by the rail systems of that time in the UK. Building on a grand scale. It was remarkable. Voted up.


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) Author

Hello Lions44. Many railway companies in Britain (and there were a lot before the 1923 'Grouping') had links with industry, including the GW with its South Wales mining and steel making sites.

The North Eastern found itself at the hub of industry between the Humber and the Tweed in the east and the Pennines on the 'spine' of England. In the West Riding of Yorkshire was a concentration of coal mines exporting to Europe and moving coal to local industry. Further north there was ironstone mining in North Yorkshire between the River Esk and the Tees. Lead mining was spread around the Northern Dales and coal mining again from southern County Durham to eastern Northumberland.

Around us we had rival companies, the Midland Railway in South and West Yorkshire, the Hull, Barnsley & West Riding Junction Railway (latterly Hull & Barnsley) between the Barnsley area and the Humber, Great Northern in the same area as the Midland, the Lancashire & Yorkshire in West Yorkshire and Central Lancashire, the North British around the Borders region (both sides of the border between England and Scotland).

After 'Grouping' in the same area you had just the London & North Eastern (nicknamed 'London & Nearly Everywhere') Railway on our side and London, Midland & Scottish on the western side of northern England.

And that's a simplified overview.


Andrew Pearson 20 months ago

Good evening Alan, found this site by accident, interesting details I didn't know relating to signalboxes. I did the original drawings of Guisborough Station in 1973, that Ken Hoole borrowed for his Termini book, and which formed the basis for Cleveland Model Railway Club's working layout featured in the site, and several other layouts round the country, because at the time there was very little info available at the time about the station which was rapidly slipping out of public memory. I wanted to try to make sure that didn't happen so as well as the drawings, I constructed a model of the station and surrounding area, which at the moment is on display with lots of photos and memorabilia, in Guisborough Museum which is open Thursdays and Saturdays 10 till 4 between April and October and well worth a visit.


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 20 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) Author

Hello Andrew, thanks for your comment. I met Ken Hoole a few times at NERA meetings both at York (where I also met Sid Weighell, and again at Harrogate at the home of another NERA member, both now sadly passed on), and at Pickering when we had a ride behind 'Joem'.

I didn't know of a museum at Guisborough. Where exactly is it? (I still have to get to Ormesby Hall to see their layouts after seeing them online and in the Hornby Magazine).

If you enter http://alancaster149.hubpages.com/RITES-OF-PASSAGE... and on up to 20, one of them is my own model THORALDBY, a 'freelance' layout. Alternately just go to the Profile page and scroll down. There are another two pages in the TRAVEL NORTH series here on the Guisborough branch, close together. Additionally there's the 'WALKING THE MOOR' page about the Eston Mines routes and drifts as well as the Upsall shaft and village.

Plenty to choose from when you've got the time.

Enjoy the read.


Andrew Pearson 20 months ago

Good evening Alan

Guisborough Museum is situated in the town centre behind Sunnyfield House on corner Westgate/Westgate Road, Satnav TS14 6BA, also shown on Middlesbrough AZ P139 2E; Tel 01287 203617 (Archive Office normally Tuesday and Thursday mornings, ask for Mr Cliff Elliott). Station model has just returned there for the 2015 season having had a winter upgrade and new detail added at home, and I have some more in preparation to be installed during the year. Model scale is 16ft/1 inch in old money and is non operational (display only).

Future plan is to do Hutton Gate and Boosbeck at the same scale or at OO depending on availability of space.

Hope this helps

Best regards

Andrew


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 20 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) Author

Hello again Andrew. Where's the cheapest parking in Guisborough these days? I know there's a site at the back on the north side of Westgate, and I know there's parking at the supermarket off Belmangate, is there any other near the centre?

Do you mean to model between Hutton Jct and Boosbeck via Slapewath and Waterfall? Might be better in 'N' Gauge, depending how much space you've got.

Don't need Satnav, thanks. I've got local knowledge (almost everywhere between Middleton-in-Teesdale and Saltburn to between Lofthouse-in-Nidderdale to Scarborough and down to Holmfirth. That's how much driving I've done since the 1990s.

By the way, did you know I've had about 370 visitors to this page today? Don't know where they're from but they've whacked up my stats!


Andrew Pearson 10 months ago

Now Alan, long time no contact, I've been on with house alterations and not done much railway stuff but since about november have been well on with doing 00 scale drawings of Hutton Gate 4mm : 1 ft, something I don't think has been attempted before. The station house got sold last year and is currently being done up very nicely, the owners kindly let me measure it all up and I have done that also the platforms, waiting shed, signal box, level crossing, bridge over Hutton Village Road, water tank & NER columns (whitemetal kits) and am now doing the 2 cell coal depot and weigh cabin which

was next to the level crossing, opposite the T junction The Avenue. I remember all of this from my childhood, so good idea to get it all down on paper as I did with Guisborough years ago, before memory goes....

Re modelling it, for reasons of space I intend to do both Hutton and Boosbeck at the same scale as Guisborough - 1/16 '' : 1 ft - as they were, static, for the record, and then I or anyone else who fancies it can do at 00 scale as an operating layout although both might need modification to keep them to a practicable size for shows etc..

Quite fancy doing Hutton Jcn - Slapewath/Waterfall and the double bridges at Claphow in due course, same scale again as a record, depends how space and time go, it's not a very well documented part of the local network, the coastal section tended to be more interesting and better covered.

Guisboro model is here at home for its annual 'holidays' and will be back at the museum when it reopens in April - sometimes when not busy I park outside the door, being on Museum business, but there are plenty of public car parks nearby.


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 10 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) Author

Hello again Andrew, welcome back. Let the New Year in with a bang? Why not model the line (Nunthorpe Jct to Brotton) and get on to that lot at Ormesby Hall to do Cargo Fleet Jct to Battersby? A bit too ambitious you say? I hope to get up in early-mid May and have a look at the Guisborough set-up. I didn't get to see the station before it closed (we went everywhere by bus) but saw what was left in 1968.

I don't know if you've looked through the menu on this site (click on the mug-shot on the left), and scroll down. There's a series titled 'RITES OF PASSAGE FOR A MODEL RAILWAY'. I've gone through the process of area research, layout planning... Detailing etc. There are twenty-odd parts that finish with snow-ploughs and railcars. The series includes a couple of layouts I did, one for my son when he was young.

I know about the big car park behind the shops on the north side of the market square, so I'd head there.

By the way, where's Claphow?


Andrew Pearson 10 months ago

Claphow is past Boosbeck to Lingdale and bear left at the crossroads there for Skelton, where the Lingdale to Skelton road was crossed by the 'main line' on a substantial 40ft odd high stone bridge with a double arch, and then by the Priestcroft to Skelton loop on a second bridge next door, which is still there. The double arch bridge was heavily reinforced with big timber baulks and added concrete wing walls against the effects of mining subsidence so there was a concern that it might collapse, which is why it was removed soon after track was lifted in 1965 on safety grounds and for road improvements. See Google Street View also 'East Cleveland Image Archive' websites; for a write-up I did on Hutton Gate, see 'Hidden Teesside' site and enter 'Hutton Gate', lots of gen there also enter 'Sparrow Lane Guisborough' for more of my ramblings..'

Let me know when you're coming up so we can meet up?


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 10 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) Author

I surely will get in touch. Don't know anything definite yet though. There are a few factors involved, such as the date of Craig Hornby's early May Eston Moor walk and when I can arrange a family get-together. The latter would be in the evening, so daytime would be open.

Just realised I've already told you about the pages (link above).

So that viaduct was between Boosbeck and Brotton? That's one route I haven't taken (been on foot between Carlin How and Lingdale via Kilton, and between Boosbeck and Saltburn in someone else's car, but that was long after the railway was lifted. The 58 (United) bus used to pass Slapewath on the way from Guisborough to Lingdale and on (to Scarborough) in the early 60s. At first, in 1962 the railway cutting was still there, then the track was lifted and cutting filled in near the road bridge over the railway at Charltons by 1065 (near the Fox & Hounds).


Andrew Pearson 10 months ago

Yes, but Claphow bridge wasn't a viaduct, it was a very high single arch bridge; because of the height of the bridge, the arch consisted of one arch directly above the other, this for added strength, if you like composite/split in two, and with additional stone buttressing to both sides either side of the the roadway arch and then additional massive concrete reinforcement to the wing wall on the Lingdale side. It's my guess that due to all the mining activity round and about and the lower arch for a long time showing signs of severe compression, the structure was always a cause of concern, needing constant monitoring, given that the route was then busy with iron ore and coal and Skinningrove traffic as well as passenger services and summer extras down to Whitby and Scarborough, so the railway authorities could not afford to have the bridge out of action. Hence as soon as possible it was removed by the local council. I have pictures of it but not sure how to upload ... The 'High Line' is not very accessable round here between Boosbeck and the junction with the Kilton/Lingdale branch, most is on private land or ploughed out altogether.

The 8 arch viaduct at Spawood is still standing and clearly visible in the trees beside the main road especially in winter; I understand it is now listed, but it needs some serious attention paid to all the trees and saplings growing in the trackbed, the roots will not be doing the fabric of the viaduct any good at all.

Regarding Slapewath, the road was realigned across the course of the railway roughly where Slapewath 'box was, thereby cutting off the old road bridge and a bad accident spot; the cutting was filled in on both sides and is now gardens to the cottages, whilst on the other side is a car scrap yard and the surrounding old mine heaps are used for motorbike scrambling. The railway going on to Boosbeck is now made up as continuation of the long distance cycle route along the line from Guisborough, access is from behind the Fox & Hounds.

Scenically, it was a marvellous run pretty much all the way from Nunthorpe to Scarborough and one of the best railway journeys in the country - on a good day and in a dmu.

Seen the Thoraldby pages, looks good!


old albion profile image

old albion 10 months ago from Lancashire. England.

Hi Alan. I have to give you my order of merit for your knowledge on this subject. Always informative and interesting. I have made several visits to this hub since my previous comment. I find all your work of interest. That you will appreciate is praise indeed as it comes from Lancashire :-) Graham.


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 10 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) Author

Hello once more Andrew. Thanks for the info. Anybody else who visits will know that much more from these comments. As for uploading your pictures, you wouldn't be able to do it from your end, but if you e-mail a scanned or digital camera image to me I can upload it and allocate a link to the Guisborough Museum if you like.

Graham, nice to see you drop by again. All these comments might leave you mystified (being local references, although some are covered in this series of three pages), but you could check on them through the net. Lots of information still there somewhere, but for reasons of space etc... Glad you've enjoyed reading nevertheless. It's what they're for, after all (lots of visitors since I set them down here). Have you looked at parts 1 and 3?


Andrew Pearson 9 months ago

Evening Alan - Tried to send a pic of Claphow bridge but alancaster149 moniker doesn't work - have you an email address I can use?


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 9 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) Author

OK, eyes down for a full house: alancaster149@gmail.com

I think there's a way of obtaining e-mail addresses on this site, as I've been contacted by other readers. Still, it's there when you're ready.

Any other images you want to convey, feel free (it can only improve the page - have you seen the 'Walking the Moor' page in the TRAVEL NORTH series?)


Richard AJ Murphy profile image

Richard AJ Murphy 7 months ago

Thanks for a great article, especially regarding Slapewath Viaduct which I had listed 5 years ago. If anyone is interested I started an FB group and we now have a small restoration team working on it. Trees have been cleared, de-vegging is complete and she looks superb.

Anyone willing to join the group, its called Friends of Slapewath Viaduct.

Thanks again Alan and i'm in the process of posting these articles to the FB page.

Best wishes Richard A J Murphy


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 7 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) Author

Hello Richard, why don't you put it on here as a counter-balance to these pages (have you read parts one and three)? I'm a member of Friends of Eston Hills (take a look at the page in this TRAVEL NORTH series titled 'Walking the Moor' and see what they've done there - do you know Craig Hornby? There's a link to the FOEH site that'll give you an idea of progress on the Eston side. I look forward to reading what you've got to tell. [PS I fell out with FB because I found it impossible to delete or change what I'd put on my profile and they were no help].

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