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Big game of the steam variety in Greater Manchester

By Chris Allen

On Sunday 23 January 2011 I went with a couple of friends to take some photographs and see some decent stationary steam engines in the Greater Manchester area.

We had a quick journey from the West Midlands via the M6 and were soon in Wigan where we parked up near the Pier area SD5705 : Wigan Pier area by Chris Allen. The former heritage centre is now closed and the signage is faded. We were to start at Trencherfield Mill but as we were early we concentrated on a few photographs of items in the vicinity - SD5705 : Canal side houses, Wigan by Chris Allen SD5705 : Dry dock, Wigan by Chris Allen SD5705 : Air compressor, Trencherfield Mill by Chris Allen.

At 11:00 hours Trencherfield Mill SD5705 : Trencherfield Mill, Wigan by Chris Allen opened its doors and we were able to go in and see the magnificent mill engine in steam SD5705 : Trencherfield Mill, mill engine by Chris Allen SD5705 : Trencherfield Mill, the rope race by Chris Allen. Despite any claims to the contrary, I do not believe this is the largest preserved mill engine (that honour falling to Ellenroad engine SD9311 : Mill engine, Ellenroad Engine House by Chris Allen) and its designed power was 2100 horsepower although I've seen 2500 quoted.

We had an excellent 'fix' of engine in steam then went on to explore the adjoining Western Mills complex SD5704 : Western Mills, Wigan by Chris Allen where we found 'his and hers' dining rooms SD5704 : Western Mills, wigan - dining halls by Chris Allen SD5704 : Western Mills, Wigan by Chris Allen. There was then a very frustrating interlude while we tried mightily, and failed, to find a decent view of the large Gidlow Mills complex in Wigan SD5706 : Gidlow Mill, Wigan by Chris Allen.

A trip to Atherton to photograph Ena Mill SD6703 : Ena Mill, Atherton by Chris Allen and Howe Bridge Mills SD6703 : Howe Bridge Mills, Atherton by Chris Allen was much more fruitful.

We then had a short trip to Astley Green Colliery SJ7099 : Astley Green Colliery by Chris Allen to see the country's largest preserved steam winding engine SJ7099 : Astley Green Colliery - winding engine by Chris Allen dating from 1912 and rated at 3300 horsepower.

It was now getting dark and time to head back home. This had been a very largely successful day both for large steam engines and for industrial architecture.

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 at 23:29
Chosen Photo

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