7. Hesketh Winding House
The atmosphere of the Hesketh Engine House and the responsibility of the Enginemen is something that can only be pictured today. In 1915-17, the Hesketh shaft was sunk in the south-eastern part of the colliery to serve the much deeper coal seams below those worked by the other shafts. The winding house (7) to the Hesketh shaft was constructed on the north side of the shaft in 1915. It contained a Worsley Mesnes steam-winding engine of 1914 and a winding cable drum of 1923 which replaced the original parallel drum. The engine could raise four mine cars (1.5 tonnes of coal in each) in a double-deck cage, fifty times each hour. After 1925 a five-bay power house was added to the north side of the building to produce electricity and compressed air; the latter was used extensively to drive machinery such as coalcutters, conveyors, drills and haulage engines. This was extended by a further three bays prior to 1962. To the east was a boiler house containing five Lancashire boilers which produced steam for the winding engine as well as for a variety of other uses around the colliery. The boilers originally had automatic coal stokers and elevators, though these were abandoned and they were subsequently hand fired. The boiler house and its chimney were demolished prior to 1962, and their cooling ponds have largely been infilled. In the second half of the C20 the steam-driven winder was superseded by an electric winder installed in its own building (demolished c 1976) in front of the Hesketh winding house. Statistics. Made by Worsley Mesnes lromnakers, Wigan 1914. Brakes made by Andrew Barkley, Scotland. Horse Power 500. Diameter of cylinder and Piston 36 inches (9l .4cms). Engine Stroke 6ft (18.2m). Bicylin dro-Conical Dror 10/20it diameter (3 to 3.6m). Steam Pressure (Superheated steam) 163 lbs per sq.inch. Maximum speed 42ft per sec (12.8m). Main bearing diameter (white metal) 20 inches 52 cms. Crank bearing (white metal) 10 inches (25 .4cms). Depth of shaft 640 yds deep (585.2m). Brake linings 161*: x 10314 ins xl in (4.8m x 27.3 cms x 2.5 cms). Winding Rope lock coil Galvanised Steel Strands 41mm diameter. Safety Devices — Electro — Pneumatic Steam Safety Controller controls speed at landing during man riding to a maximum of 45ft per second. lt also prevents overwinding at all times. Total weight of cage 3 tons. . Mine car 16 cwts Tare. Mine car capacity 28 cwts (30 cwt car). Total load approx 12 ton (11 ton 8 cwts) Image: Alan Murray-Rust 2011, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic.