Saturday, 16 July 2011

Utterly Butterly?

A transport blog about bread spread?
Nope; spell it ButterlEy and you might have a clue. Or gaze upon this rather terrifying gent!
He lived here ...
... now, a much developed and extended Butterley Hall, the headquarters of Derbyshire Police. He was Sir James Outram (January 29, 1803 – March 11, 1863) a distinguished military commander who, in his spare time, founded what became the Butterley Engineering Company, based near Ripley. His company grew into a successful steel fabricating company famous for the stunning arched roof of St Pancras station.
In more recent times, they provised the steelwork for the Falkirk Wheel canal boat lift ...
... and the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.
The firm built huge cranes and supplied the steelwork for numerous bridges and tunnels throughout the world. Sadly, the company called in the receivers in 2009 and much of the once-extensive site ...
... has been demolished to make way for a new housing estate.
But here is a mystery picture - a piece of speculative construction assembled roughly where Coach Road is on the above picture. Can you see what it is yet?
It was a design for a new type of car park. The car drove into a cage which was then lifted on a continuous chain thingey. Presumably when the car owner returned for his vehicle, an attendant pressed a button, the mechanism sprang into action and the car was delivered back at ground level. It was built in about 1965 but never achieved commercial success and was demolished soon afterwards.

The Butterley Site has another, more tenuous, connection with transport. A few hundred yards down the road is Butterley Station (the works is in the top right corner) ...
... of the Midland Railway Centre. Butterley Station is seen here on a vintage train day.
Such days aim to re-create railway travel as it was in the good old days, when porters carried your luggage for a tanner and there was a real man in the ticket office. fbb fancies the boater and striped blazer. Top hole, don't y'know, old bean!
The Station (opened in 1857) lost its passenger trains as long ago as 1947, but the buildings remained in place until freight trains ceased in 1968.  The original building was then demolished so an identical one was moved, brick by brick, from Whitwell in North Derbyshire and rebuilt on the site. Clever indeed, 'cos you can't tell the difference!
Well worth a visit; plenty to see and do for all the family. This, a view of the main museum and sheds area at Swanwick Junction.
The Midland Railway Centre web site is here.  

Next blog : due Sunday July 17th  

No comments:

Post a Comment