Wednesday, 3 December 2008

A WIGAN GEM

Yesterday I was fortunate to visit with a group of Wigan engineering enthusiasts the great Trencherfield Mill engine which was put through its paces at a private viewing. This steam engine, the largest in the world has been restored using lottery money (one of the few useful things it has funded) and can be visited on Sundays.

Made in Bolton it is just 100 years old and ran almost continuously for 70 years powering the mill where 400 people worked. It required 500 tons of coal per week to keep going and at the time was at the forefront of modern technology. The design and engineering skills required to produce so magnificant a machine must have been considerable and the workmanship superb.

Nowadays with electric motors and computers it looks old fashioned but at the time when many people abroad were still in the horse age or living in mud huts it shows how powerful our region and country were and how advanced.

Sadly we have lost our lead and in recent years with the collapse of proper education and apprenticeships we are falling further behind. Dance, Drama , Media Studies and the history of slavery are deemed more important, while Maths, Physics and Engineering don't seem to matter.
The fact that we make so little is at the root of many of our present troubles coupled with bad financial management by this government.

One must not forget to feed this monster would have required 80 miners with men toiling to transport it and attend the boilers not to mention the 400 workers whose machines the engine drove.
King Coal and King Cotton together with the hard graft of British workers built this country and not exploitation of foreign countries, let alone slavery.

To regain the greatness symbolised by this machine will be hard but we must still try.
Yesterday was for me an opportunity to forget modern decadence for a couple of hours and to immerse myself in a time when we were truly--
GREAT BRITAIN.

10 comments:

Anti-gag said...

Yes it really is impressive, but 500 Tons of coal a week, that's 3 Tons an hour 24 hours a day!

Where did that figure come from?

Anyway it does look like they have done a great job restoring this piece of British history. Is it actually in working order now?

From
Chris Hill
(Lancaster)

PS.
I checked out the QE2, and before a total engine replacement in 1987, that consumed 24 Tons of coal an hour at full speed, so maybe 3 Tons an hour isn't that unbelievable.

Lanky Patriot said...

Yes Chris, it is working now and can be seen working on Sundays(at half speed)The demonstration that we had,1 hour, used 250 litres of oil to get up steam and it was not driving any machinery.
It was a private run and we were able to talk to the engineers and that is where the 500 tons comes from.

Anti-gag said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anti-gag said...

Thanks Charles,

Stories like this make this a truly local blog. Wigan, just like the rest of our nation, has so much fantastic local history one has to wonder why it's not taught in our schools more. But then again how could they fit a piece of local history like this, into black history month?

From
Chris Hill
(Lancaster)

Airborne said...

Didn't an African invent that machine?

Lanky Patriot said...

Yes Airborne, just after they had invented the spear.
According to recent news they seem to be good at building and maintaining water and sewage systems as well.
We must learn from them.

Anti-gag said...

This should be about being proud of our people, not about running down another race.

British history is the history of a white people, and I for one am very proud of that. But I'm not running down either African history, or its people, it just that neither has any relevance to British history.

pride in your own race does not make you a racist, and I am proud of my race.

From
Chris Hill
(Lancaster)

Lanky Patriot said...

I'm not running down Africans, Chris, just stating facts. They are better runners, football players etc but generally not fitted to modern life. But we still allow them in.
People who haven't the wit to dig a simple latrine to prevent raw sewage running down the street or grow food now they have driven all the white farmers out are not suitable for life in Britain.
Part of our history is that we tried to teach them these things but as yet they have not managed to master modern technology as have other peoples.
And now we are asked to "celebrate"black history here and what do they do? Play a few bongo drums. As I said in an earlier blog, what else can they do?

Anti-gag said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anti-gag said...

Hi Charles,

I'm not sure if your assessment of Africans is accurate, and frankly I consider that an issue between you and them. I don't care!

My only connection with Africa (and it's a very slight one) is my father served there for 2 years during the war. Apart from that I have no connection what so ever with Africa or its people. I do of course wish them well, as I do all the other human races, but that as far as I'm concerned is that.

I don't intend hurting any animal, human or otherwise, but my concern is for my own people not Africans.

I hate no other race, I am simply proud of my own.

From
Chris Hill
(Lancaster)

yaz