Sunday, 21 June 2015

Consall Forge, Staffordshire

The decrepit station buildings still stood alongside the line at Consall in Staffordshire. Occasional quarry trains would rumble through the narrow valley.
This was many years before heritage steam trains returned and long after passenger services had ceased. One of the waiting rooms and the platform precariously overhung the Caldon Canal which ran alongside the railway.

Consall Station

The Black Lion pub saw few customers, mostly walkers at the weekends. Road access was through private land, forbidden to strangers and usually even to the publican.
Beer had once been delivered by passenger train. After calling at the station, the train would reverse to the doors of the pub where driver andfireman would refresh themselves while the barrels were unloaded and passengers waited patiently.

Nearby was the old flint mill which was used to grind materials for Stoke on Trent's pottery industry. Built in 1830 by John Leigh, this had originally been driven by three waterwheels.  Modernisation had seen these replaced by water turbines, the source of power
being the Caldon Canal.  Curiosity got the better of me and a few turns of a handle saw the ancient machinery spring into life. In the 1970's the mill was still in regular production.

Consall Flint Mill
There is a further relic of the past in the form of four limekins. These date from the early 19th century, the coal and limestone having been delivered by canal. 

The Caldon canal, opened in 1778 had fallen into disuse. At Consall it joined with the river Churnet. It was restoreed to full navigation in the 1970's.

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