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LMS Route: Nuneaton to Coventry

LMS Route: Coventry Loop Line

Three Spires Junction: lnwrcll4175

The third of three 1929 'landscape' aerial views of the sidings and the numerous Private Owner Wagons stabled at Three Spires Junction

The third of three 1929 'landscape' aerial views of the sidings and the numerous Private Owner Wagons stabled at Three Spires Junction.

That most of the mineral wagons in this image showing sidings at Three Spires Junction circa 1930 suggests that it is an assembly point where trains are made up to the main collieries en route to Nuneaton, Griff, Exhall, Newdigate and Keresley. It is also likely that some will be forwarded to the sidings at Nuneaton for onforwarding to pits on the Trent Valley line, as well as via the Ashby and Nuneaton Joint Railway to the collieries of Leicestershire and south Derbyshire. Possibly the two nearest tracks are for unsorted wagons One thing is certain - they are all empty and the only destination is to a colliery to be loaded and pass through this yard in a train in an average of a weeks time. Unfortunately the image is not clear enough to identify most of the wagons, but those of te Newdigate and particularly the Griff colliery stand out.

The top row is a mixed load only two wagons of the C.W.S can be identified. As the Arley colliery sold a lot of coal to the C.W.S., this may be their destination.

The second row contains at least eleven Newdigate wagons and this would be where it was bound for. Trains of empty wagons destined for collieries usually were made up of a mix of colliery and private owner wagons, and often a smattering of railway company wagons as well.

The third row is obviously heading for the Griff sidings, it contains six Griff wagons and several apparently empty railway company wagons , not cleaned out, which would be bound for the various brickworks on those sidings, as bricks were at the time carried usually in railway-owned wagons. Note the two different lettering styles for the Griff wagons.

Only four wagons can be identified in the second row from the front, one for Dunlop's of Reading and the other for Pemberton of Abingdon. There are two for Ansley Hall fourth and fifth from the right hand end. One the front row none can be positively identified.

This brings into focus the length of time take for a wagon to leave the colliery and return empty. For the Griff Colliery, the Wath Main Colliery six miles north-west of Rotherham. the six collieries of the Bolsover company surrounding Mansfield: fourteen days average. For the wagons of the Yeovil coal factor Bradford & Co their average was a very poor seventeen trips a year. The best results, from the very skimpy records that have survived, were those of the City of Birmingham Electricity Department, with an admittedly unusually short haul to collieries no more than twenty miles away, their wagons averaged 45 trips a year.

Keith Turton