The only rails mapped in Huthwaite by 1884 follow the disused tramway leading from the older Hucknall Colliery sited below Blackwell Road. Detailing of the New Hucknall Colliery shows that yard still in early development. When mapped again by 1900 however, steam locomotives gained modern haulage duties.
Larger productive yards of New Hucknall Colliery were linked onto the Great Central Railway. Tracks from pit yard sidings extended across Common Road, running aside length of the original Pit Road along which cart horses initially delivered coals. Local sales were soon also transferred via rails, siting a wharf upon Sutton Road into the 1930s. That was another simple tramway with coal tubs hauled by a static engine. Its north easterly route remains walked as a public footpath, skirting behind the Mansfield Hosiery Mills sports pitches and former ash tip, with its exit point shown alongside road facing flats.
Turning back onto the main tracks. Enthusiast Alex Fisher reveals 1909 proposals for extending the New Hucknall branch into our Whiteborough Station platform. Urban Councillors did however have later hopes for siting a much nearer station, linking the CWS factory and offering closer passenger access. Whilst railroad companies competed for industrial trade, nearby Westhouses train sheds centralised the main workshops feeding all surrounding collieries.
The following trains steaming from Westhouses were captured by Brian Hayes in 1970. Although nearing latter years of steam locomotion, these fantastic machines could still inspire some boyhood dreams.
Also photographed while employed at New Hucknall, is the collieries own smaller steam loco. This was maintained for shunting coal tubs around the pit yard sidings, plus being long used for basic driver training.
More familiar 1980 scenes photographed by Mr O'Sullivan show the replacement diesel locomotives that continued carrying New Hucknall coals across the manned signal boxed Common Road crossing.
Little evidence remains from all this heavy industrial haulage. When looking east, the NCB sign points entry into the former Pit Road, now residentially lined and confusingly readdressed as an extended Mill Lane. To the south or right side, the former pit tip extended a Sutton Landfill that is finally being landscaped forming Rookery Park. Pedestrianised traffic lights installed 2009 over Common Road roughly mark where the original train crossing gates operated. The box and its prized key revealed by Alex Fisher.
A few more shots dated 1967 from Mick Bostock follows tracks passing the manned roadside signal box. He recalls its untimely demolition at the hands of unknown pranksters. Parked tubs had been released, splintering through wooden gates, box and signals. Automated barriers safely saw out this pits final years.
Written 29 Jul 04 Revised 28 Jan 13 © by Gary Elliott