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Brewery Sidings / Moston Exchange Sidings

Discussion in 'Bullhead Memories' started by 49010, May 19, 2015.

  1. 49010

    49010 Active Member

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    I've always been fascinated by freight traffic and the more I read on steam era Manchester the more I keep hearing about Brewery Sidings and Moston Exchange Sidings. However, the references tend to be in passing rather than in any depth and I'd love to know more about how they operated, where they received freight from and sent it to etc.

    Do any NPers have any recollections of them or know where I could find any published articles, pictures (I've got all the relevant Foxline books but as I say they only mention the yards in passing) or have any memories of them in operation?
     
  2. ragl

    ragl Well-Known Member

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    Hello Simon,

    The following maps of the area between Miles Platting - where Brewery sidings where - and Moston, give a good overview of all of the railway tracks in the area, could be useful in working out what is happening when you find any particulars on workings or photos to identify:

    http://maps.nls.uk/view/102339519

    http://maps.nls.uk/view/101103365

    Cheers

    Alan
     
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  3. ragl

    ragl Well-Known Member

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    Simon, forgot to mention, click and scroll to enlarge the maps, click and drag to move around.

    Cheers

    Alan
     
  4. pedantic_p

    pedantic_p New Member

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    Hello Simon

    I've got a memory like a sieve as far as where the majority of traffic went from both sidings but I will try to fill in some blanks for you.
    Brewery was a fairly busy sidings I don't think that the shunters got much rest, if it wasn't the pilot shunting it was some of the incoming trains mainly local trippers shunting their own trains, the head shunter was a wizard with the shunt pole with the shunters running with the wagons or riding on their brake sticks, not many mishaps though. 16 and 17 pilots (in my time mainly Derby 4's) worked into Brewery from Philips Park, Collyhurst St, Oldham Road and Tank Yard. They received traffic from Gowhole, Rowsley and from the London area not to mention Ashton Moss, Burnley, Bolton Burnden and probably Bullfield amongst others.
    Outgoing traffic was mostly Eastwards because of the layout of the sidings before a connection was put in at Miles Platting end although there was the odd train which was dragged up the loop and taken away either by way of Park or Platting bank.
    There was a Brewery-Burnley which went via Castleton, Bury and I am sure Bolton, Brewery-Healey Mills or whatever the forerunner of Healey Mills was, Brewery-Rawtenstall (Broadfield and Heap Bridge included). There was also traffic for Werneth and Oldham, Middleton and Chadderton.
    Moston on the other hand being on the Up mainly received traffic from the East and being on a falling gradient was in the main gravity shunted. Apart from the Platting area Trips in and out, traffic went to Ashton Moss later to Dewsnap after Aston Moss closed, Camden and the Derby area via Millers Dale and then via the Hope Valley when the Midland closed. No doubt there were many other services which went through Man Vic but unfortunately I can't bring them to mind.
    It is so annoying not to be able to remember anything further at the moment and unfortunately after having kept diaries logging every duty that I was on I disposed of them a few years ago, now they would certainly have helped me to remember.
    Eric
     
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  5. 49010

    49010 Active Member

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    Thanks for the reply, very thought provoking and evocative (shunters "riding" on the shunting pole - I've seen that on film somewhere, no H&S in those days).

    I managed to get copies of the old Ordnance Survey Maps (in the Alan Godfrey Edition - recommended if you want a very clear impression of a site some time ago, and if the published range includes a site you're interested in) for both Brewery Sidings and Moston Exchange.

    I was struck that for Brewery sidings there doesn't seem to be a headshunt or shunting neck so I guess that freights must have come in on an arrival line, then the train engine would go (I guess) to Newton Heath for coal water crew change etc. Meanwhile the yard pilot would start splitting the arrived freight into the various roads (I counted 12 or 13 on the map), one road for each destination I suppose. I get the impression that Brewery was used to receive and send "transfer" freights from one area to another (say ex L&Y lines to Midland lines). There doesn't seem to be much scope for putting wagons into an exact order so I guess they sent a consist of wagons for (say) the Midland main line through the Peak to Gowhole and then sorted them into "station" order there. I know that such a freight ran regularly to Gowhole (another yard I'm fascinated by), I guess it must have run up to Rochdale and then round the Oldham loop to get to somewhere like Ardwick and then down past Belle Vue to Romiley Junction..... very roundabout!

    It must have been a real hive of activity - 24 hours a day seven days a week I would guess, there must have been quite a number of shunters, head shunters etc, probably working continuous shifts, rest rooms, constant comings and goings. Clanging buffers, squealing flanges, shunters barking orders, engines whistling. Pity the poor neighbours.

    I guess much the same points go for Moston as well. A few more questions if you can help:

    Did the yard have a separate road for cripples or brake vans?
    Would the yard pilot be based at the yard full time (so Monday am to probably Saturday afternoon) with a small coal supply and water tank on the side?
    Was the Brewery Watsons or something else?

    Many thanks for your help.
     
  6. 46223

    46223 Part of the furniture Friend

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    The brewery was Wilson's.
     
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  7. 49010

    49010 Active Member

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    I thought so, I remember a time when it seemed like half of the pubs in Manchester had Wilsons signs. I never got to drink it though - I was too young, sigh..
     
  8. 46223

    46223 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Lucky you..........;)
     
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  9. 49010

    49010 Active Member

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    I'm like a dog with a bone on this one...... but for such a short thread to get so many views suggest I'm not the only one who finds Brewery Sidings and Moston Exchange evocative.

    I got round to looking on the National Library of Scotland website at the 25" maps covering Brewery and Moston. As I mentioned above I'm struck that there doesn't seem to be a headshunt for Brewery, so I guess arriving freights must have set back into one of the roads, there are twelve roads in total on the 1888/9 map, and each of those roads looks lllooonnngggg. I guess each siding could serve a different destination, like the Dewsnap yard on the GCR. I imagine Brewery would have received freights from Liverpool way and then split them before they went east of the Pennines or south (I think there was a regular transfer freight to Gowhole on the Midland line through the peaks). Brewery would also have received empties and despatches from the L&Y Oldham Road Goods Depot. Oh, for a time machine...

    Moston is the same but different - here there are 8 loops, rather than sidings. The loops look as though they could be entered from either end, so I guess freights could have gone straight in from the mainline rather than going past and then setting back, which would occupy time and space on the L&Y mainline. (Unless, of course, Moston Exchange was the sidings at the bottom of the map.....

    Anyway, here you go - first Brewery Sidings and second Miles Platting (before they put the chord in for trains from Ashton to go round towards Newton Heath)

    https://maps.nls.uk/view/126522782

    https://maps.nls.uk/view/126521819
     
  10. pedantic_p

    pedantic_p New Member

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    Like I said previously my memory is not what it was, trains for Brewery would normally arrive on 2 Loop and if it was a local trip they would shunt their own train. Others would back the train inside and the shunt engine would knock them about again using 2 Loop. When I started on the footplate in '64 the shunt engine was a 350 and was continuous Monday to Saturday I don't know the arrangements for steam.

    Do you know I can't remember freight from Liverpool coming to Brewery ( not saying that there wasn't any) as I never worked Brewery pilot, it took me 11 years before being passed to drive (dead man's shoes ).

    There was very little, almost none, out of Brewery that didn't go directly Eastwards as it meant being dragged or propelling out of the siding and there was no lead out of the Manchester end of the sidings at Miles Platting Jct until well after I started. Any traffic for Dewsnap etc. would be tripped to Moston and would be propelled in from Moston Colliery Box as there was no direct access into the sidings from the down direction line. If you notice midway down the siding is a thoat and all incoming traffic stopped short of that and the wagons were then loose shunted onto the required roads. The Dewsnaps, Gowholes, Rowsleys, Camdens and the like departed from Moston. There was not normally a pilot at Moston as gravity shunting took place there.

    You commented about Brewery Sdg. roads being long but sometimes even they were not long enough and they were stretched like elastic.
     
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  11. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Is there a good book anywhere on 'how; the Railway worked in the age of steam, eg accounting, how freight was dealt with etc? More from a paperwork than an operational perspective?
     
  12. 49010

    49010 Active Member

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    The best examples I can think of are the Wild Swan books on GWR Goods Services - which comprise an introduction and two additional volumes (2A and 2B) on Goods Depots and their Operation. Lots of fascinating shots of goods yards, sheds, loading, checking, surveys of traffic from each main GWR division. There are also quite a few articles on Goods Depots and Yards in LMS Journal and Midland Record (both also by Wild Swan), including wide coverage of Goods in Birmingham. There's also two volumes on GWR Goods Train Working by Noodle Books. Wild Swan also do a volume on Goods Traffic of the LNER.

    Operating Goods Yards and Depots looks to have been very labour intensive and therefore a very high fixed overhead. So long as enough stuff was passing through they would pay their way but once levels dropped - well 'Nuff Said.
     
  13. John Webb

    John Webb Member

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    There is something about the area around Miles Platting Junction in "Signalman" by M Burke (Bradford Barton, ISBN 0 85153 423 6); includes a sketch map showing the location of Brewery Sidings.
     
  14. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Thank you both
     

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