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Baddesley Colliery Sidings, Atherstone

The colliery was situated at Baxterley, in the hills on the down side of the L&NWR Trent Valley main line, to which it was connected at the 103-milepost by a 'tramway' which was also served by a canal basin on the nearby Coventry Canal. The colliery had two very distinguishing features, (1) it was owned from its sinking in 1850 to nationalisation in 1947 either by the Dugdale family of Merevale Hall, Atherstone or trustees on their behalf, and (2) from 1937 it employed one of only two Beyer-Garratt locomotives used on a colliery railway. (The other was at the Sneyd Colliery in Staffordshire)

The Beyer-Garratt, works No 6841, was named 'William Francis' after William Francis Dugdale, son of the founder of the company, and usually worked the mineral branch to the L&NWR and canal connections always at the front of the loaded train descending and pushing the empty wagons uphill on the return journey. Initially horse-worked, this line may have dated back to the sinking of the colliery to the canal basin, the unconfirmed date of the rail connection is ca. 1871.

The more practical rail connection to the Midland Railway via an extension of its Kingsbury Colliery branch between Tamworth and Water Orton, opened in 1878, was the more likely method of despatch to many parts of he country. Of the prominent users of Baddesley coal, the several pumping stations of the City of Birmingham for years would use no other. The founder of the company, William Dugdale, was killed in an underground mishap to which he went to assist in the rescue mission.. The Dugdale coat-of-arms was featured on the side door of the company's coal wagons. The wagon stock was updated in 1937 by the purchase of 200 new wagons from the Rugby builder Thomas Hunter, numbered 1201-1400.

Keith Turton

A schematic diagram of Jee's Siding used to illustrate the boundaries of the LNWR and apportioned costs of repair and renewal
Ref: misc_jees353
B Mettam
Beyer Peacock Works No 6841 'William Francis' is seen at Baddesley Colliery on 16th September 1963