February 21, 2016
OPENING OF THE TRENT, ANCHOLME, AND GRIMSBY RAILWAY. – 1864
Manchester Times – Saturday 21 May 1864
22 Toasts between 3 and 6:30pm – why did we not recreate this for the 150 anniversary?
Manchester Times – Saturday 21 May 1864
OPENING OF THE TRENT, ANCHOLME, AND GRIMSBY RAILWAY.
On Saturday last a special train left the London Road Station, at ten in the morning, conveying the chairman and directors of the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway company, and party of invited friends, for the purpose of inspecting tho Trent, Ancholme, and Grimsby Railway.
The new line commences east of the Trent, at a junction with the South Yorkshire, and runs a distance of 14 miles to- the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire line at Barnetby, passing through the newly discovered ironstone district of North Lincolnshire. At present a single line only has been laid, but the permanent road has been constructed for a double line and the company has powers to raise additional capital to establish and work tho double line. The line passes along a viaduct of 60 arches, at the foot of the Frodingham incline. This incline has an ascent of one in a hundred. The line will cost, when completed, £180,000. It belongs to a separate company, of which the Hon. A. Eden, chairman of the South Yorkshire, Is chairman.
The line will be Inspected by a government official in three or four weeks, after which it will be opened for traffic and worked by the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Company.
The engineer is Mr. Bartholomew, of Doncaster Messrs. Skelsey and Verity, also of Doncaster.
On the journey a stoppage was made at a new iron bridge which crosses the Trent about three-quarters of a mile sonuth of Keadby. At this point the river is very wide and deep. Tho bridge is 475 feet in length, consists of iron girders resting on tubular piers, and divided into five spans. The centre portion of the bridge, which is 160 feet in length, rests on a turntable laid on a pier in the very centre of the river. On each side of this pier is a channel 60 feet wide, through which vessels can pass. This portion of the bridge was turned with the greatest ease by four men in four minutes. The under surface of the bridge is 27 feet above low water mark, and the river when the tide is dow Is 18 feet deep in the two channels. The bridge measures 22 feet, exclusive of the girders which form a footpath. Mr. Bartholomew, the engineer of the new line, designed the bridge, which has been built by Mr. Fairbairn. It has coot £40,000, and has been two years in building.
Shortly after entering upon the new line, the train stopped at the Trent Iron Works, which consists of three furnaces, built in 1862, and is carried on by Messrs. G. Dawes and Co., of the Hilton and Elsecar Iron Works, between Rotherham and Barnsley. The furnaces are capable of producing 2,000 tons of pig-iron per month. A furnace was tapped while the train waited, and five beds of pig iron cast. It is chiefy with a view to develop the resoure~s of the ironstone fields of this district that the new line has been constructed.
The presence of the iron was discovered five years ago An analysis of the stone has shown that it contains from 35 to 45 per cent of Iron. The iron has been found to cover 5,000 acres of ground, which Is chiefly owned by Mr. R. Winn. The stone lies within two or three feet of the surface. The top bed is 25 feet thick, and contains a sufficient amount of lime to flux the iron. Branch lines have been constructed to bring the ironstone to the works. A few cottages have been built In the neighbourhood of the works ; but it is expected that, as the resources of the district are develoed, a large town will spring up on the spot.
After leaving the Trent Ironworks the train ran rapidly down to Great Grimsby, where it arrived about three o’clock,
An exellent cold collation was prepared in the Town Hall, to which the excurionists sat down with evident satisfaction after their long ride. The chair was occupied by Mr. Watkin, M.P., and amongst those present were Mr. Chapman, M.P., the Mayor of Manchester (Mr. J. U. Bennett) the Mayor of Grimsby (Mr. Henry Bennett), the Hon. Mr. Eden, Mr. Underdown, Mr. Alderman Ivie Mackie, Sir E Armitage Mr. E Ross, Mr. W. Bragge (of Sheffield), Mr. Klrkman, Mr. Falrbairn, C.E, the Town-clerk of Manchester, Mr. Alderman Windringham (of Grimsby), Mr. Alderman Dann (Sheffield), Mr. G. Cliff (Leeds), Mr. Mackic, jun. (Wakefield), Mr. Hyslop (Liverpool), Mr. Ailport, Mr. McConnell, Mr. R. Winn, Mr. Fildes (Manchester), Mr. H. Chambers, Mr. Firth, Mr. G. Dawes, Mr. Shand (Liverpool) Mr, Bartholemew, &c.
Dinner was hardly commenced when the Chairman said there were twenty-two toasts to drink, and the first glass of wine drunk should be to the toast of the Queen. All the loyal and patriotic toasts and many succeeding ones were accordingly drank before dessert was brought on the table. In one case four toasts were taken together, aud the names of the four gentlemen to respond given; these were the towns and trades of Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, and Bradford. The expeditious manner in which the toasts were got through was much applauded.
The Chairman on rising to propose the toast of the day, said the Trent, Ancholme, and Grimsby Railway would, in a very few weeks, be open for traffic. The line was 14.5 miles in length, and cost £180,000, to which they must add £40,000, the cost of the Keadby bridge. With regard to the work, In all his experience, he never recollected a line the construction or completion of whlch was surrounded with so many difficultles. The plan of the bridge, made by Mr. Bartholomew, and built by Mr. Fairbairn, was one of which he could not speak too highly. During the construction of the bridge, some of the men had been working under water at a pressure of 301b weight, and this would give some Idea of the enormous difficulty they had experienced in carrying out that portion of the work. The line connected directly Grimsby, the ironstone field, the South Yorkshire coalfield, and the West Riding. It reduced the distance between Grimsby and the West Riding 23 miles, between Grimsby and the South Yorkshire coalfield 14 miles, and between Grimsby and Manchester nine miles. The Ironstone field through which the railway passed comprised 15,000 acres, containing 760,000,000 tons of ironstone, which yielded, at the rate of 35 per cent, 250,000,000 tons of iron, requiring 420,000,000 tens of coal to smelt It. At present there were only three furnaces erected, but before long he believed that number would be multiplied several times over, and the district would become one of the most important iron districts of the country. The average distance of the South Yorkshire coal field was only 42 miles, and the field yielded 2,000,000 tons annually. When the West Riding line was completed, this company would then be connected with the West Riding field, which yielded 1,500,000 tons of coal. Already they exported from Grimsby 150,000 tons per annum; and the reduced distance would increase that export, It was believed, to a considerable extent. Grimsby by this line, would have direct access to the West Riding, would be nearer the coal field than at present, and would be better able to compete with the Tyne coal fields. The superiority of this iron-stone field over the Cleveland field was very great. In the north Lincolnshire field, 33 cwt. of South Yorkshire coal avnelted one ton of ore as against 40 cwt. of coke and 17 cwt. of limestone required by the Cleveland ore. The yield was, in fact, 35 against 30, or, in other words, 2.75 tons of this ore as against 3.25 tons of Cleveland ore for one ton of iron. Judging from the success of the Cleveland field, great things might be expected from the new field of ore. The Cleveland field was discovered in 1848, and the first furnace was built in 1850 now, the furnaces numbered 86, and produced 800,000 tons of iron per annum. The area of the Cleveland field was 144,000 acres, which yielded 35,000 tons of ore per acre, or a total of 5,000,000,000 tons. The area of the Trent, Ancholme, and, Grimsby field opened directly by the line was 15,000,000 acres, On the Sheffield line there lay 15,000 acres’ more, and between the two systems 40,00 more, which made a total of 70,000 acres. At 50,000 tons per acro the total yield would be 3,500,000,000. (Applause.) He sincerely hoped the whole district would soon be covered with furnaces. (Loud applause)After a number of other toasts the meeting broke up, and the whole party proceeded direct to the railway station.
The journey to Grimsby was made via Doncaster and Keadby, and the return journey via Retford The train left Grimsby at 6 30 p.m., and arrived in Manchester shortly after nine.