Thursday, 14 April 2011

Old steam crane owned by the family Briggs

As I was passing this location (like I have many times over the many years) I kept seeing a crane boom but no one ever in the yard until today !, Reet I had to ask so pulled the car into the top of the yard a weathered looking bloke strong in stature  came over to my car which by now I had got out of  and I asked if I could take some photo's some time in an evening when it drops dark (night time photography) his reply was 'NO' and so I said sorry for wasting his time, I was just about to leave when he asked who are you, what do you want the pictures for and why at night which I replied with my name and that I was an engineer who also was into photography and caving/potholing etc also I have my portfolio in the back of the car if he wanted a look.....after a few seconds he said yes i'll look at your photo's around 10-15 mins later seeing pictures of bigger wire controlled cranes from the Coniston area and many mine/potholing pictures he shut the book, gave it back to me then said 'come look at this'.....I didn't need to be asked we tootled round the back of the buildings and hell I didn't expect what I was shown a fully operational steam crane and not only that but it was mounted on a set of railway lines and it could self propel in both directions, it even came with its own flat carriage for hauling goods on and both units were in very good sted.Both myself and Mr Briggs talked about engineering and my full job role etc.......I must state I felt 'reet at home ere' amongst the muck and grime of engineering from the past.

I would like to thank Mr Briggs for changing his mind and allowing me to not only see this marvellous steam crane but also allowing me to photograph her......about half an hour later I left giving my details and saying ill give a full copy of my pictures to him, his reply was if you give me your telephone number when we fire her up next at night i will give you a call for some night shots too......I could not have asked for a better or warmer welcome than what I had.....Thank you.

History of the crane and location it was at to follow soon as i go back for a night shoot when she's got steam up !.


  1. Looks like a really good bit of machinery - a nice find.

  2. ex Leeds Industrial Cooperative Socy
    Joseph Booth Bros ( Rodley ) 4161A/1931

    Its sister is at Armley Mills Museum.
    ( Was this not originally there? )