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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Photo-a-Day Archive
Photo-a-Day Archive

Photo-a-Day  (Sunday, 3rd April, 2011)

Trencherfield Mill Engine

Trencherfield Mill Engine

Photo: John Morris  (Nikon D700 with a 24-85mm Nikkor lens.)
Views: 4,371

Comment by: alan on 3rd April 2011 at 00:03

My granddad used to operate that.
I don't remember it looking so clean and pristine when he showed to me when I was a youngster

Comment by: peterp on 3rd April 2011 at 00:03

Would not liked to shovel the coal for steam in the good old days

Comment by: brian d on 3rd April 2011 at 07:15

great photo of this monster.

Comment by: irene roberts on 3rd April 2011 at 09:14

Been here a few times with school-trips when my children were at school, all of us dressed in Victorian clothes. The opening moments from the film "Spring and Port Wine" always makes me think of this scene.

Comment by: Mick on 3rd April 2011 at 09:51

Great piece of Wigan history but I bet there more Wiganers who have never been to see it than them who have.

Those five bulbs that are lit up where
the Electricity to come to Wigan.

Comment by: Colin Harlow on 3rd April 2011 at 14:53

Build by J.E Wood from Bolton in 1907, these Twin tandem horizontal triple expansion engines, worked hard driving thousands of spindles and electricity for the mill until the late 1960s. Both engines are now owned by Wigan Council and have been fully restored. The engine on the left is Rina and her sister on the right is Helen, they produce 2,500hp and drive a 26ft fly wheel weighing in at 70 tonnes... More power than 8 HGV Daf's 75.300 trucks put together.

Comment by: Bob on 3rd April 2011 at 14:57

Irene, thats the "way we were" at Wigan Pier, and not Trencherfield Mill.

Comment by: Phil Whitehead on 3rd April 2011 at 16:15

Ahh, now i see what it actually looks like. I have heard this sound many times when at work so thanks for sharing the photo.

Comment by: irene roberts on 3rd April 2011 at 16:24

I may have thought the two were together; it's many years ago. But I have been in the place on the photo a few times with school. I think they used to sound a hooter at twelve o'clock each day some years ago, and I remember the names on the engines from Colin Harlow's post. The beginning of the film Spring and Port Wine was filmed in Bolton and the opening scene shows John Mills as Rafe Crompton cleaning his hands after working on similar engines.

Comment by: Colin Harlow on 3rd April 2011 at 18:59

Irene, you most likly went to both of them, as most people did.

Peterp, if you "were" to shovel coal in the good old days. well, you'd sleep a night. To achieve 2,500 horsepower the boiler pressure had to reach 200lbs per square inch, in just one week they ate 200 tonnes of coal. I would have thought not many over-weight boiler men at that time.

Comment by: Colin Harlow on 3rd April 2011 at 19:25

Many thanks to John Morris for showing a great piece of Wigan history.

Comment by: John Morris on 3rd April 2011 at 22:21

Thank you for all the comments folks. This is certainly a magnificent piece of engineering and well worth a visit if you haven't been. Colin you are certainly right about overweight stokers, I never saw any, but to pick up on the point about "2" engines; although the 2 banks of cylinder had different names they were always considered to be one engine. The exhaust steam from the front left hand cylinder went to the front right hand cylinder and then to the 2 back cylinders. One side would not work without the other.

Comment by: Mick on 3rd April 2011 at 22:56

You can watch them in action here


Comment by: oskell summers on 4th April 2011 at 00:56

Funny how engineering from that era is beautiful to look at while most of todays isn't.

Comment by: Colin Harlow on 4th April 2011 at 18:41

Oskell Summers: Because there isn't any Real engineering to-day i'm sorry to say. Britain was the best in the world.

Comment by: Art on 7th April 2011 at 01:08

A pity they didn't preserve the Eckersleys Mill engine.
Bigger than the "Trench" engine, with a 30ft flywheel.
When you stood alongside the Connecting Rods, the whole building seemed to move..

Comment by: Interested 1 on 2nd May 2011 at 09:41

Can anybody tell me if it powers anything nowadays?

I cant imagine the council paying to run it without getting some sort of payback from it - an I dont just mean the Admission charge.

Thank you.

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