Mill Engines at Shaw Lodge Mills, Halifax

Additional information
provided by
The Northern Mill
Engine Society

Textile Mills, including Shaw Lodge Mills, received their power from steam engines during the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Later, the mills were converted to to take their power from electricity, (I think this was in the 1920's in our case), still using many of the power transmission equipment which was already in place. Even in the twenty-first century we still used some vintage equipment, lathes, and engineering tools, belt driven, as when it was originally built.

There were several mill engines at John Holdsworth & Co Ltd.
Arthur S. Roberts of Leeds, describes amongst his records from the 1950s and 1960s, one single horizontal cylinder example at Shaw Lodge Mills, No.2 which was made by Pollit & Wigzell of Sowerby Bridge in 1900. Some of the mill engines were named after the daughters of Clement Holdsworth.
'Constance', after Constance Gertrude Holdsworth, 1880-1955, the eldest daughter.
'Kathleen', after Kathleen Marian Holdsworth, 1882-1946, second daughter.
And 'Gwen', after Florence Gwendoline Holdsworth, 1892-1928, third daughter.

The Northern Mill Engine Society have some undated hand-written records, from which we discover the most accurate records were collected at the time by George Edward Barker.

Geoff Shackleton, chartered engineer, has spent over 40 years researching and collating details of the mill engines which powered the Yorkshire and Lancashire mills.
Geoff has kindly send this list of mill engines which powered the machinery at Shaw Lodge Mills in Halifax.
Geoff also sent these pictures of some of the mille engines mentioned above.

Engine No 1, named CONSTANCE

400IHP cross-compound engine made by Pollit and Wigzell of Sowerby Bridge in 1900
14ins HP and 27.5ins LP with 42ins stroke with Corliss valves on the HP
80rpm with 14ft flywheel for 13 ropes
condenser driven by tailrod behind LP cylinder

Engine No 2, named GWEN

150IHP tandem compound engine also made by Pollit and Wigzell of Sowerby Bridge in 1901
10ins HP and 20ins LP with 36ins stroke with Corliss HP and slide valves on LP
90 rpm 10ft flywheel for 6 ropes
note "moved from Low Shed to floor above"

Engine No 3, named KATHLEEN

450IHP tandem compound engine made by
Cole Marchent and Morley of Bradford in 1897.
15ins HP and 28ins LP with 42ins stroke. Corliss valves
82rpm with 16ft flywheel for 12 ropes
Drove alternator in "room next to beam engine"

Engine No 4

50IHP single cylinder engine
7 ins cylinder and 12 ins stroke with 4ft flywheel
slide valve, non-condensing
"drove stokers and coal hoist"
Note: I remember this engine, it was located in the boiler-house cabin, a very cosy and warm place. This powered a long shaft that ran in bearings along the boiler-house roof, and which in turn wound the bucket conveyors, which fed coal from the large hoppers up into the three Lancashire boilers. The steam engine ceased being of use and was removed in 1972. It was sold to an enthusiast, to make way in the boiler-house for a brand-new Parkinson-Cowan, GWB 10,000 Lb/hr multi-fuel boiler with a Vekos burner.
[David W Holdsworth, 2008]

Engine No 5
(presumably an earlier engine)

"Large twin beam engine in attached house with shaft under road"
also noted : "at one time, site had three beam engines"

© 2022 David W. Holdsworth  

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