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Technical | Winders   >  Auxiliary

In the early 1920s a steam powered capstan winch with a duplex engine manufactured by Qualter Hall Co. Ltd. of Barnsley was installed in a small brick built engine-house at the end of the South heapstead. The drum mounting and gearing arrangement  looks to have once been used elsewhere and was adapted to fit.  It was converted to operate on compressed air, probably as part of the 1950’s modernisation and was scrapped during the surface demolition after closure in 1986.

The cylinders were 12in x 20in with slide valves and hand operated Stephenson reversing links. The throttle was a hand operated gate-valve on the main steam/air supply. Braking was via a foot-peddle operated band acting on the crank-shaft, supplemented by a hand-screw applied post-brake acting on the drum for permanent holding.

It was raised several feet above the pit-top level - possibly to allow the rope to clear the conveyor gantry which ran from left to right just the other side of the building. The gantry was only installed in the mid-1950s, however, which could mean that the engine-house was also  constructed at that time.  The bonding of the brickwork is suggestive of a later rather than an earlier construction. Aerial photos may allow some light to be shed on this.

This winder was used for shaft maintenance activities such as changing guide rails and support buntons.  In later years, communication with the shaft side was via the intercomm umit seen on the back wall in the second photo. How things were done before that is unknown.

S aux winder house 1980 -m

The South pit auxiliary winder house is the flat roofed building with the twin chimneys in the centre foreground  ( c1979) 

spt emw #1 -m

South pit auxiliary winder 1985 

PleasleyWinch19860927 -m

South pit auxiliary winder Oct 1986 

spt emw mods -m

Details of drum and gearing modifications


  • Colin Bowden,  Stationary Steam Engines in Great Britain, A Check List, 1979


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27 Jul, 2020


08:54:40 PM

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