Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

Monckton No. 1

Before its repaint. (C) Steven Oakden Monckton on the coal dock awaiting nameplates after repainting. (c) Tim Warner Monckton with the Stately Trains 6-wheelers at Skibeden. (c) Tim Warner

(C) Steve Pennock Built in Leeds by Hunslets as their No.3788 in 1953, Monckton No.1 was one of the later Austerity saddletanks. Delivered new to the colliery of the same name at Royston, near to Barnsley, the engine went to a big colliery. New Monckton had three shafts, and adjacent to it was a cokeworks, which is still active today, and has been of great assistance to the railway with gifts of trackwork. The railway system was extensive with lots of sidings to serve such a big complex, but also lines to the Aire & Calder navigation, the spoil tip, the Midland Railway and the Hull & Barnsley sidings at Shafton. The date was 23rd February 1980 when the photograph on the right was taken by Steve Pennock - the day the locomotive left the NCB for a new home at Embsay.

Monckton when only two years old. (c) John Furness Collection Each day three engines worked the day shift (6a.m. - 2p.m.), two worked the afternoons (2p.m. - 10p.m.) and one engine was kept in steam overnight in case of emergencies. One of Monckton's duties was to shunt the coking plant's sidings. With larger wagons and better locos, the size of the fleet required reduced to four engines, and in 1963 Monkton No.1 was converted to run using the Hunslet underfeed stoker and gas producer system, as detailed by the Hunslet order book.

In November, after the colliery closed in 1967, Monckton No.1 was transferred to North Gawber Colliery, Mapplewell, some three miles north of Barnsley, along with one of its drivers, Jim Norton. Here the underfeed stoker system was not liked, as it just put the coal on in a heap, which then had to be spread. The other problem was the fire burning back up the stoker and setting fore to the contents of the bunker, before modifications were made!

John Mills visited and took a number of photographs at North Gawber Colliery, some of which feature Monckton No.1. I am very grateful to him for the scans he provided which can be found here as part of his collection.

Monckton upon arrival at Embsay. (C) Charles Adams Upon arrival at North Gawber Colliery, it was considered to be a good loco, and from September 1968, it was the working loco. When prospects improved, two locos were again used, and after having a couple of tubes replaced, Monckton No.1 seems to have been relegated to being the spare engine, with the tyres repordedly in very bad condition. 1974 saw saw repairs being carried out in a roofless shed (repairs had started when the shed had a roof!), which involved re-wheeling with newly re-tyred wheels. The corroded bunker was repaired with filler, as re-discovered with the recent overhaul!

(C) Charles Boylan In 1980 the engine came to Embsay (see the photos below), and was used on the first Harvest of Steam on a three wagon freight and heading a cavalcade of engines. The underfeed stoker had been used on that day too. The engine was very much in 'as received' condition, but in 1981 it had a repaint and again worked the freights, this time a much longer train was available. Monckton worked passenger trains after fitting with vacuum pipes and remained a useable member of the fleet until persistently leaking tubes caused its demise. Desptite there being little wrong with the engine, it was laid aside and it wasn't until 1997 that work began to overhaul it. In the photograph (left), taken by Charles Boylan, Monckton is seen running round its train at Skibeden Loop in April 1983.

Monkton undergoing re-assembly in the shed. (C) Tim Warner This was a very stop / start affair as work on the running fleet and a shortage of volunteers caused long periods of inactivity, and much frustration to the loco department. The engine has had welding carried out to its firebox tubeplate, new smokebox, tubes, eccentrics re-metalled and motion re-bushed. A poor repair on one of the eccentric journals was investigated and put right. The valvegear, very much at the heart of of an engine's performance, has been thoroughly overhauled. The coupling rod brasses were re-metalled. A new bunker, new cab roof, new sections of tank and other fabrication work has been done. The piston rings have also been replaced.

(c) Tim Warner During restoration, scoring was found to the left-hand cylinder, whether this is caused by broken piston rings or other foreign material is not known, but the result is a squeak when running! The engine was first steamed on May 27th 2002 and moved on the coal dock road. The following Sunday, June 2nd, it ran light engine to Bolton Abbey. Photos of this can be seen lower down the page. Hectic activity followed, preparing the engine for the Foxfield Railway's gala on June 21st, including a lot of filling and sanding to hide the welding on the tank. Some photos from its time on the Foxfield can be found at the bottom of this page.

Back at Embsay the loco has been hauling service trains, and has also had some further attention to adjust components as they bed in. Further painting work is still outstanding, but this will take place at some stage shortly, along with other minor jobs.

Monckton worked very successfully during the 2005 Santa season, but was failed towards the end of it with leaking tubes / firebox. This took most of 2006 to rectify, but Monckton successfully passed its tests and entered traffic just in time for the 2006 Santa Specials. One notable change was that the squeak that characterised the loco since returning to traffic has now gone. Monckton was repainted into original livery, as can be seen in the second photograph of Monckton before preservation, when she was 2 years old, working at Monckton Colliery on 16/10/55. The only change is that she retains the gas producer chimney currently fitted, as well as the headlamp, which will eventually be powered! The result of the problems encountered in 2006 was that Monckton was withdrawn early with a new firebox being required, but not bad mechanically. Hopefully attention will be able to be turned to her shortly. Until that time she is stored on display at Bolton Abbey

Monckton's repaint continues in the new shed - sanded down. (c) Tim Warner Monckton's repaint continues in the new shed - sanded down. (c) Tim Warner Monckton's repaint continues in the new shed - in undercoat. (c) Tim Warner Monckton's repaint continues in the new shed - in undercoat. (c) Tim Warner

More photos of Monckton at North Gawber Colliery

(c) Dave Barlow collection (c) Dave Barlow collection (c) Dave Barlow collection (c) Dave Barlow collection (c) Dave Barlow collection
Some more photos from Monckton's last day at North Gawber colliery. The board under the smiley face chalked onto the smokebox reads "I'M OFF TO THE DALES RAILWAY EMBSAY NR SKIPTON" - a shameless bit of advertising for the line!!
(c) Dave Barlow collection.

More photos of Monckton at Embsay

(c) Dave Outibridge Monckton was moved from the isolated shed base in 1997 for restoration to start. This involved temporay track being laid across the site of the top yard, slewing the main line to link up and then shunting the siding to get the locos out that were required.
(c) Dave Outibridge.
(c) Tom Ireland 3rd June, 2002, and the restoration is almost complete as Monckton sits in steam on the shed road at Embsay prior to a test run after the last train.
(c) Tom Ireland.
(c) Rob Daniels With everyone else looking on in anticipation, Monckton sits on the shed road at Embsay. Apparantly it came very close to running without a chimney as it was forgotten until fairly late on!
(c) Rob Daniels.
(c) Tom Ireland Time for a quick inspection at Holywell Halt before (?) pressing on towards Bolton Abbey (under Holywell Bridge in the background).
(c) Tom Ireland.
(c) Tom Ireland The side-on view taken at the same time as the previous shot gives some impression of the work left to do on the loco, including fitting the chimney, the dome cover, as well as all the rest of the filling and painting.
(c) Tom Ireland.
(c) Tom Ireland Monckton is seen at the Embsay end of Bolton Abbey station in this shot - its first trip along the line beyond Skibeden Loop.
(c) Tom Ireland.
(c) Tom Ireland Once more at Holywell, presumably on the return to Embsay, although I'm not entirely sure.
(c) Tom Ireland.
(c) Tom Ireland The paintwork is completed, and Monckton is ready to head off for the Foxfield Railway's Gala, seen standing outside the shed at Embsay.
(c) Tom Ireland.
(c) Tim Warner Monckton in action climbing up towards Stoneacre from Bolton Abbey. This view is afforded to all the motorists on the A59!
(c) Tim Warner.
(c) Tom Ireland Monckton entering Embsay station, exchanging the staff with the very visible signalman!
(c) Tom Ireland.
(c) Tom Ireland Passing under the footbridge into a very quiet looking Embsay station - possibly the last train of the day? Note the bunting on the station and the stone flags through the gap by the ticket office and cabman's shelter.
(c) Tom Ireland.
(c) Tom Ireland Monckton is seen coming out of Hambleton cutting (I think!) with a passenger train bound for Embsay. The locos have to work reasonably hard up the gradient from Bolton Abbey, as there is no respite until Skibeden Summit is reached. Driver Colin Davies leans out of the cab, making the most of the photo!
(c) Tom Ireland.
(c) Tim Warner Monckton was used to haul Wheldale to Bolton Abbey for display, and several photos were taken along the way. Here the two Austerities stand side by side in Bolton Abbey station. more photos
(c) Tim Warner.
(c) William Lister Monckton sits at Stoneacre, viewed from the signalbox's garden (unfortunately hiding in the shadow). This could well be the switching out of the 'box with Monckton having travelled down from Embsay light engine to double head the train back.
(c) William Lister.
(c) Steven Oakden (c) Steven Oakden Two shots of Monckton No.1 departing from Bolton Abbey with a 6-coach Santa Special train in 2005.
(c) Steven Oakden.

Photos of Monckton at the Foxfield Gala 2002

Many thanks to Martin Creese for permission to use these excellent photos on the website.
(c) Martin Creese Foxfield-based Hunslet Whiston (which has visited the Embsay in the past) double-heads a rake of mineral wagons with Monckton No.1.
(c) Martin Creese.
(c) Martin Creese The pair of Austerities are seen again making progress up the bank, with evidence of coal being added to their fires.
(c) Martin Creese.
(c) Martin Creese Slightly further along the line, and looking more relaxed with 12 wagons and a brake in tow.
(c) Martin Creese.
(c) Martin Creese Solo effort from Monckton with the mineral wagons.
(c) Martin Creese.
(c) Martin Creese Very little shows this as being 2002 - it could easily be a lot longer ago...
(c) Martin Creese.
(c) Martin Creese ...as could this, as Monckton passes the photographer, nicely framed by the tree.
(c) Martin Creese.
(c) Martin Creese More of the same, as Monckton easily hauls 6 empties and the NCB brakevan.
(c) Martin Creese.
(c) Martin Creese And yet more! Monckton really looks the part with these mineral wagons - shame we haven't any...
(c) Martin Creese.

Top Locomotives

Yorkshire Dales Railway Museum Trust (Holdings) Limited
Registered Charity No. 1116386
Bolton Abbey Station, Bolton Abbey, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6AF
General Enquiries: 01756 710614 - Talking Timetables & Fax: 01756 795189
enquiries AT embsayboltonabbeyrailway DOT org.uk webmaster AT embsayboltonabbeyrailway DOT org.uk
Yorkshire Tourist Board

Disclaimer - website (c) YDRMT 2012 -