PENNINE WAGONS LIMITED EDITIONS

PW007 Ackton Hall Colliery, Featherstone
7-plank end-door open wagon.
Black with white lettering shaded red.
Includes removable 'coal' load.

SORRY - SOLD OUT

Railways were born in the North of England during the Industrial Revolution of the mid nineteenth century, created to solve the colliery-owners' problem of how to transport coal to the customer quickly and economically. Horse-drawn wagons took forever to get anywhere on the dirt-track roads of the day, and then as now, time was money. The new-fangled canal system, hewn across the country at vast expense, offered an improvement of a kind, but the barges were still small and painfully slow. Then along came the iron horse on the iron road, and the modern era of rapid transport began. Within a few decades the railways became the only way to move anything to anywhere, and the principal thing which they moved was coal. Every coal mine had its rail connection and its fleet of wagons, emblazoned with the owner's name, and every time a wagon carried its load of coal from pit to town it made money hand-over-fist for the colliery and the railway company. Not much of this money made its way down to the men who actually dug the coal out, of course, so relations between the miners and the owners didn't always run smooth. Ackton Hall Colliery was one of countless pits in the mining heartlands of West Yorkshire, and in the 1890s the whole area was riven by prolonged and bitter industrial disputes. In the late summer of 1893 the Ackton Hall men were out on strike for better pay and conditions, and on the fateful day of 7th September things got out of hand. The peaceable protest turned into a riot, the colliery buildings were burned to the ground, and troops called to restore order were set upon. In what would subsequently be christened the 'Featherstone Massacre' the soldiers opened fire on the crowd, leaving two men dead and six others grievously wounded. Eventually the strike was resolved and the colliery was rebuilt and re-opened, staying in production until its final closure in 1985, but Ackton Hall's name was always linked with this grim chapter of British industrial history.

This wagon is produced in association with the Going Loco model shop of Wakefield, and is also available for purchase from their retail premises in Potovens Lane or from their stand at exhibitions.


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