© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 There was still a fair amount of industrial steam around towards the end of the 1970s. Here are some pictures from a trip to two fairly local pits where steam could be seen in action in 1979. Bersham colliery, near Wrexham, had two steam locomotives, the best known being "Hornet", a cut-down Peckett - no. 1935 of 1937. Hornet was in steam, but would be unlikely to be doing any real work for some time - so the driver did a quick run up and down the yard for us - most obliging! Also present, undergoing repair, was the much older "Shakespeare" (no, not that old!) - Hawthorn Leslie 3074 of 1914. Diesels arrived (from the closed Granville colliery in Shropshire) less than 6 months later, and Hornet was out of use by March 1980. Whether Shakespeare ever worked again, I don't know - he was scrapped within a year or so. Hornet lives on at the Ribble Steam Railway at Preston. We moved on to Bold colliery, near Burtonwood (of brewery fame) in Lancashire. The working locomotive here was Austerity "Robert" - Hudswell Clarke 1752 of 1943, none other than our friend No 7 from Littleton Colliery. Robert was returning to the shed for lunch when we arrived, so (I seem to recall) we departed for lunch, at the nearby hostelry (a Burtonwood house, oddly enough). We returned refreshed to see some real action. The line up to the exchange sidings from the weighbridge was, for some reason, built to an amazing gradient - 1 in 14 or thereabouts. Consequently, full wagons were taken up in short rakes, with the loco working flat out up the bank - wonderful stuff! Also present, at the shed, were two other Austerities, "Alison" HE3163/44 rebuilt HE3885/64, and "Whiston" HE3694/50, and a North British diesel hydraulic, 0-4-0 no. 27735 of 1958, which I suspect was of little use! Whiston lives on, at Foxfield, and Alison (who became "Joseph" a little while after our visit) is at the South Devon Railway. Robert is at "The Railway Age" at Crewe; the diesel is no longer with us.... Link: Industrial Railway Society "Hornet" in his usual roost beside the Ruabon - Wrexham line Hornet makes a run through the colliery Hornet and driver pose for the photographer Shakespeare under repair at Bersham Robert in action, Bold Robert returns to the shed, Bold "Whiston" HE 3694 of 1950 "Alison" HE3163/44 reb HE 3885/64 Robert in action on the bank Robert struggles up the bank Robert on the bank, Bold Phew, that was hard work!