Trent 5 at Tunstall: Staffordshire Chemical Co

Picturing the Past: NarrowBoat, Summer 2009

Euan Corrie

Euan Corrie looks at a busy scene in Stoke on Trent

This dramatic photograph was taken by Stan Heaton in the 1950s, and combined his love of canals and railways. When the negative was first scanned, the location was unknown, and only the name and owner of the nearer boat could be read: Trent 5 of the Staffordshire Chemical Co (SCC). The 1899 25in Ordnance Survey map shows a branch from the Trent & Mersey Canal, about half a mile from the southern portal of Harecastle Tunnel. In modern parlance this is just north of Westport Lake and Bridge 129 at Tunstall. The arm led south-westwards to pass beneath the 4-track North Staffordshire Railway Main Line (now part of the West Coast Main Line) in a tunnel to this basin. The photograph was taken from the basin’s western bank, with the tunnel emerging on the left. The locomotive is a British Railways Standard class 7MT 4-6-2 more usually referred to as the ‘Britannia’ Class, introduced in 1951. The buildings and houses in the background were on Ravensdale Terrace. There w…

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