Did you ever see Finedon’s little steam railway?
Whenever I came home from Canada, Bert Munns would say
“Len do you remember? So I ask my readers “Do you remember the little steam train that ran from the iron pit by the cemetery to Mill Lane? When it was running at full speed puffing out clouds of steam and smoke, with the windmill in the background, it made an unforgetful picture. (Has anyone got a snapshot of this ?) About twice a week the engine would come out of its’ shed in Mill Lane, hitch on to a dozen empty wagons, and make the trip to the two pits. The first trip was across the fields to the west of Station Road to Debdale, then it turned and went under the road and into the pit by the cricket field. Here it would uncouple the wagons and hitch onto the loaded ones. The wagons were of little interest to we boys as there was no place to hang on to hitch a ride. The wagons were small and made completely of steel with a side dumping arrangement. They had been parked alongside the exposed iron ore, and navvies had loaded chunks into the wagons. The engine then made the return trip to Mill Lane where the last piece of track was elevated and parallel to the main line siding. Here the contents of our narrow gauge railway were dumped into standard wagons. The little engine then repeated the process by going under Station Road into the pit that ran up to the Volta Tower.
Sometimes on our fishing trips down Mill Lane we would see the shunting engine from the furnace siding come to pick up the loaded wagons. We explored this piece of track and found that it cut across Day’s field to the top of the mill pond. It had its own bridge over the Ise Brook which was not made for pedestrians. (Enough said !!) The west berm of the mill pond had a lovely treed walk from the railbridge to the bridge at the mill.