Andrew Barclay Works No 1175   No 8 Dardanelles 0-6-0ST

Andrew Barclay 1175  - by Peter Todd.jpg

This locomotive was built by Andrew Barclay in 1909 and spent most of its working life at  Polkemmet Colliery at Whitburn in West Lothian.

It was originally built for Arniston Coal Company Ltd which at that time operated three pits near Gorebridge about nine miles south-east of Edinburgh. Here it carried the number 5.

In 1915 the locomotive was acquired by William Dixon Ltd who were one of the largest coal and iron concerns in Scotland. It was employed at the new Polkemmet Colliery near Whitburn in West Lothian. The pit started production in 1921 and eventually became one of the largest in Scotland – employing 1,500 miners and nearly 2,00 at its peak in 1960.

As there was another Polkemmet Colliery nearby the pit was known as the Dardanelles after the First World War campaign which was in progress when the colliery opened in 1913. As the locomotive was the first to be used at the colliery it was given the name Dardanelles which it carried for the rest of its working life. The locomotive was mainly employed moving the coal from the pit along the one mile line to the exchange sidings near the site of Greenrigg Colliery. It continued to operate at the colliery until 1979 which was just a year before steam working came to an end there.

By the time the locomotive was taken out of service Polkemmet was the last deep coal mine in West Lothian and was sending 95% of its output to the British Steel Corporation steelworks at Ravenscraig which was the biggest in Western Europe.

 When the miners strike started in March 1984 most of the miners employed there joined the picket lines. As a reprisal to the National Union of Minworkers’ withdrawal of safety cover, the Scottish Area of the National Coal Board switched off power to the pit’s water pumps and the colliery suffered severe flooding. The mine never reopened and 840 miners were made redundant.

Following withdrawal from service in 1979 the locomotive has been cosmetically restored and put on display at the entrance to the colliery. In 1987 following the closure of the mine  the locomotive was moved to Polkemmet Country Park where it is regarded as a war memorial for the Dardanelles campaign as well as monument to local history.

Andrew Barclay 1175  - by Peter Todd.jpg
1175 at Polkemmet Colliery – May 1982

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