Technical | Winders   >  Auxiliary

In the early 1920s a twin cylinder steam powered winch was supplied by Qualter Hall Co. Ltd. of Barnsley. At some point this was installed on the South side of the South heapstead in a small brick built engine-house with a drum mounting and gearing arrangement that looks to have been a later modification.  It was converted to operate on compressed air at some stage and was scrapped as part of the surface demolition in the autumn of 1986.

The cylinders were about 12 in x 20in with slide valves and Stephenson reversing links driven from eccentrics on the crank-shaft. The throttle was a hand wheel 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 suggests that the engine-house may also have been constructed at that time.  The bonding of the brickwork is suggestive of a later rather than an earlier construction. Arial photos may allow some light to be shed on this.

This winder was used for shaft maintenance activities such as changing guide rails and buntons.  In later years, communication with the shaft was via the intercomm 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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08 Apr, 2018


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