Wednesday, January 30, 2008

ABC Wednesday - B is for Brackenhill


According to the 1927 Kelly's Directory
Brackenhill is a hamlet inhabited chiefly by the men employed in the stone quarries and the Hemsworth colliery. The Ackworth Moor Top Working Men's Club and Institute was built in 1907 at a cost of £1,750.



Quarrying is believed to have begun here in 1629 when Charles I granted quarrying rights to tenants to take stone for use within the Manor. The hard course-grained sandstone was not only good building material but could be used for grindstones and scythe stones and by the 1800s it was exported worldwide.


These photos were taken in 1966


Brackenhill Light Railway although authorised in 1901 wasn't opened until 1914. It ran from Brackenhill Jn on the Sheffield to York line to Hemsworth Colliery (with a short spur to Ackworth Moor Top). It never carried a passenger service although it saw occasional holiday excursions. The NER worked the line but to avoid requiring the sanction of the Board of Trade this was never formalised. It was absorbed by the LNER at the grouping and survived into BR days, closing at the end of 1961.

It ran past the top of our back garden and we loved to watch the steam-trains go by.

The photo above was taken from the bridge on Moor Top Hill in 1962. The one below was taken in 1963.


Today, the first mile from Brackenhill Jn to Cherry Tree Farm is used by railway maintenance road vehicles with the next mile to Mill Lane occupied by housing. The section between Mill Lane and Kinsley Common has been converted into a cycleway known as The Tom Dando Way after a local councillor who fought for many changes in Ackworth including the proposal for a bypass.


This picture is from 1966

One cyclist's assessment of Tom Dando Way is somewhat critical.

36 comments:

  1. Great Pics, Got that authentic look of old times, yet still modern

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  2. I'm a major fan of of old black and white pics. Its great having pieces of history like this.

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  3. It's nice to see old pictures somewhere. Good choice.

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  4. Thanks for giving us your interesting information. I like the black and white vintage photos to go with it.

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  5. Extremely interesting and well illustrated. I always learn something new when I visit your site.

    And some say that Blogging is a waste of time...

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  6. Great older photos. Interesting to read about it.

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  7. Hey Gerald,
    You join also ABC's wednesday for me its the first time , I love your interesting B-Brackenhill photography, very well done, You are amizingly good in historical facts and beside that great photography!!!

    See on my blog, what I made (the first time) for ABC wednesday,I made music combined with photography

    Greetings from JoAnn Holland

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  8. hello Uncle Gerald,

    The pictures were very interesting. I wonder if I will see any railways on my expedition?

    Nice to meet another yorkshire gent.
    I have just joined ABC Wednesday!

    Love
    Edmund (the explorer) Nesbitt

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  9. Awesome pictures and the HISTORY is wonderful

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  10. Once again a really interesting post and fabulous photos. I wouldn't fancy balancing on the edge to take them :o)

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  11. I love the old photos....too bad they have changed so much of it. I learn so much from your blogs! Good choice for a "B".

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  12. Quite a stroll down memory lane. I could look at vintage photos all day. They are really fascinating to me.

    I had to correct my spelling. Fingers were moving too fast!

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  13. Wow, this is an interesting post. I feel educated with your
    "B's"

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  14. Interesting post and nice old pictures!

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  15. A history lesson as well as fascinating photos .. thank you

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  16. You are such a teacher. Last week I looked up Ackworth on wikipedia.

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  17. Interesting post Gerald. Nice to take a historical perspective.

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  18. I love learning more about Britain. This was great!

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  19. Once again I learned something new, now if my mind that was once a steel trap instead of the sieve it is now , could only remember it all!

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  20. Hi Gerald, You make quarrying work look absolutely interesting. And what a unique B you gave us, too.

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  21. Those are wonderful pictures. Thank you for sharing the past with us. I love looking at old photos.

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  22. Ahhh another Beeching closure. Hubby is involved in restoring part of the Somerset & Dorset railway in Midsomer Norton.

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  23. Nice to have those old pictures, I wonder what the same scenes look like now.
    Probably row upon row of cardboard and plastic houses.

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  24. Very interesting post.

    You told me that you have visit Geiranger. When? By car? You are very welcome back. Any time. :-)

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  25. Hi, loved reading this, we are about to embark on a documentary about the Brackenhill Light railway, from Ackworth myself but i was born in 1980 so missed the opportunity to see the line myself,, I would love to speak with you more on what you know and remember about this line, is this possible? Notice this blog is few years old now, please get in touch if you can... molbison@sky.com

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