Mystery Photographs

The Courtney Haydon Collection and Ron Dyer Archive

Round Oak Rail, Brierley Hill


Giltbrook Viaduct
Name the viaduct
Photograph: Courtney Haydon (B-74-28)
10/09/2010 from Mark Higginson
Looking back (NE-wards) at Giltbrook Viaduct after passing the site of Awsworth Junction. Note the residual bit of embankment protruding through one of the arches - this was a remnant of the MR Basford-Bennerley line, dismantled in 1917.
10/09/2010 from Cyril
Mark, I presume your note that the MR closure of the Bennerley - Watnall(?) section of their line from Basfort means that The I.A. Pre- Grouping Atlas is in error by showing a through route still in existence?
11/09/2010 from John Simmonds
One of the arches appears to have rooms built into it, anyone got any info about this?
11/09/2010 from Cyril Crawley
You are quite right about that John. I believe there were two dwellings each with four floors, partly used at one time as a school.
11/09/2010 from Bob Wallen
Henshaw refers to arches 8 and 23 as being strengthened by the inclusion of four storey dwellings. Presumably that is arch number 8 that can just be seen sticking out from behind a tree right of centre. The dwellings are said to have been used by bricklayers and workmen during construction, and then temporarily by schoolchildren from Awsworth during WW1 when Zeppelins attacked local ironworks. Arch number 23 is said to have proved difficult during demolition, so clearly did its job to the end.
12/09/2010 from Mark Higginson
Arch No 8 is just out of shot to the right, but the other one with dwellings (No 23) can be picked out eighth beyond the MR span. The infilled arch behind the tree was not used as a dwelling but is a function of the skew of the MR arch - it was virtually triangular in plan as a result and there was an equivalent arrangement on the other side of the MR arch, but obviously on the opposite face of the structure, so not apparent here. The same arrangement was repeated again where another span crossed the Digby Colliery branch further along. Each of these "triangular" arches contained a number of chambers, but I suspect the infilling was purely for strengthening purposes. The chambers or voids also contained drainpipes from track level, which would need to have been accessible for maintenance. It would be interesting to know more about the background to the inclusion of dwellings within this strucure. It is most unusual for a viaduct in a relatively rural area - no doubt GN records at Kew plus Census records would reveal more of the story.
12/09/2010 from Mark Higginson
Cyril: reference to the introduction to the Pre-Grouping Gazetteer reveals that "some lines and stations which had in fact been closed by 1922 have been shown in this atlas for the sake of interest and as a record of their existence". Having said that, it does contain mistakes and we didn't really get a reliable, to scale and detailed railway atlas for England, Scotland and Wales until Colonel Cobb produced his monumental work in more recent years.
12/09/2010 from Richard Allen ILkeston
Digby Viaduct at Awsworth known locally as the Forty Bridges, on the line from Awsworth Junction to Pinxton GNR looking north towards Newthorpe and Greasley Station. In its latter days Shipley Gate SB on the Erewash Valley MR was under the control of the station master at Newthorpe and Greasley Station GNR. Aprox six hundred yards between the two.
12/09/2010 from Richard Allen ILkeston
Digby Colliery known locally as Billy Halls and Digby Sidings SB, was situated at the Newthorpe end of the viaduct.
09/12/2010 from Gerry Brooks
Interesting to see the references here to Shipley Gate signal box, which reminds me of the deep snow there in 1946/47. Many hours spent there in the 1940s after sruggling through the snow from Eastwood. The only thing there now is the white power box beteen the tracks now reduced to three. Sad residue of the glorious former EVMR !
28/12/2010 from Paddy
location: Giltbrook Viaduct
I Played as a young boy on this viaduct in the late 60s/early 70s.I still live in Awsworth and have some photo,s of it.The last arch to demolished was the the one over the old Kimberley to Awsworth road on a Sunday afternoon which I watch with my father from the Gate Inn Pub which is still open and just out of the picture to the left.There is a video on y-tube entitled The ex-GN branch from Nottingham Victoria to Derby Friargate showing a train from kimberley entering Awsworth station and in the back ground you can see the viaduct about 1964.If you require any more info please ask.
20/09/2012 from dave saxton
location: 40 bridges
Digby Colliery was called Silverdale not Billy Halls. Billy Halls is farther up the line towards Eastwood. I know because my dad used to work there befor beinging moved to Pye Hill. Us kids we used to walk up to meet him going through Shilo onto the canal, then up the road beside Lillies Farm. Happy days when I was a young'un
25/12/2012 from David Gibson
location: Newthorpe
Billy Halls Colliery was actually Lodge Colliery which was down Hall's Lane in Newthorpe. It is now part of a housing estate. As a rough guide Halls Lane can be located as being the first road bridge on the A610 after Ikea heading west towards Langley Mill. The pit was located in the fields behind Birchwood Park on the opposite carriageway. There was also a brick works Manners Brickyard close to this pit and was located between the pit and Birnam's factory which was serviced by Newthorpe &Greasley station. Digby Colliery and New London Colliery were both sited in Giltbrook.
27/01/2013 from Roy Plumb
location: Giltbrook Viaduct
Silverdale colliery is in Staffordshire.Digby colliery was only ever known as Digby.The colliery yard was accessed from either the G.N.R from Digby Sidings signal box at the western end of "Forty Bridges"or via the M.R. from Bennerley Junction with a spur from Bennerley sidings which crossed over the Nottingham canal on a metal girder skew arch bridge,at Shilo,whence it continued almost alongside the canal,under the M.R Bennerley-Bulwell branch then under"Forty Bridges",at canal level,into Digby colliery yard.
27/02/2013 from dave saxton
location: 40 bridges
Sorry Roy,my mistake. I was thinking of Speedwell not Silverdale, don't know why that pit came to mind. Anyway, Speedwell is to the right of Digby if you follow the old Bullwell line.
08/03/2014 from John Stapleton
location: Plymouth
I am fairly sure there was in fact forty four bridges.There was certainly more than Forty. Loved playing round there as a kid. just up from the Blob!!!. the best to all.
02/04/2014 from Graham Jelly
location: Giltbrook Viaduct
John Wrottesley in his GNR trilogy states 43 arches. Alf Henshaw (who was local to this) in Vol 3 of his RCTS GNR East Midlands series, mentions that a small arch in the pier adjoining skew arch 15 as being No 44. The appendix to this book contains a report dated May 1970 by M.D.P Hammond pleading for the preservation and quotes a total of 47 arches. Perhaps this total includes other arches adjoining skews.
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