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As usual, looking for one thing, and find something interesting. Not the book I'm afraid, just a library listing. Fiery Jack? I've never heard of it. Anyone know more?

Link: http://www.rhs.ac.uk/bibl/xSearch.asp?DATA...SEQ0=descending

There was a short tunnel between the old Sheffield & Rotherham Teminus in the Wicker, later to become the Wicker Goods Yard and Bridgehouses Yard up on the Great Central/LNER line. The bricked up portal can or could be seen till quite recently in the Vauxhall dealership (This has now closed and is fenced off awaiting the arrival of the mighty Tesco's)

The Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway arrived in 1845, that year a tunnel was built under Spital Hill with a very severe gradient, it is doubtful whether it was ever used for complete trains.

In later years it was used for trasferring wagons between the Midland Depot and the LNER Depot.

It remained in use until 1965

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Was just reading through some of the old Burngreave Messenger articles and noticed this...

"As the railway networks grew, the Midland station was linked to Bridgehouses by a tunnel, 300 yards long, to enable goods trains to access both lines. The incline of the tunnel was immense, engines had to reverse as far back along the line as Sutherland Street in order to build up enough steam for loaded trains to climb up through the tunnel. Likewise in reverse, a brake wagon had to be attached to the end of the train to control its descent."

http://www.burngreavemessenger.org.uk/33aug03/poorjohn.htm

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So maybe the "Fiery Jack" name comes from the engines needing to be at full bore to get up the hill in the tunnel?

There would definitely be sparks as the engine ran at full tilt up into the tunnel

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So maybe the "Fiery Jack" name comes from the engines needing to be at full bore to get up the hill in the tunnel?

I knew an LMS driver who had taken trains up through that tunnel. Everyone hated it - they had to tie a damp towel round their faces or they would be coughing up soot for the rest of the day. I believe he said there was a signal at the Bridgehouses end which it was impossible to see through the smoke.

Health and Safety would be apoplectic about it these days lol

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Guest Killamarsh GC

There are stories that some workmen died when they fell through into the tunnel when working in the properties that used to be above it. I also believe it was used to store wagons containing explosive during one of the wars.

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If you are upstairs on a X78 you can see the bricked up tunnell to this day

What about the Bridgehouses end, is that still visible

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We used to play there as kids.Its just down the road from were I grew up on pye bank rd. lol

The area has changed a lot recently, what as it like then Simon

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Another view of the bridgehouses end:

http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/details/....aspx?id=456096

Jeremy

Hi,

This is an amazing picture. I call it amazing because in my childhood, there wasn't a tree or a blade of grass anywhere near this site.

In the dying days of the LMS and LNER Before B.R., I used to pass over the West Portal of this tunnel four times a day on my way to, and from, Pye Bank School. I remember the goods transfer train, nick-named, Fiery Jack, very well.

I never knew how many times a day the train service operated but there was always a lunch time transfer. I used to get out of school at 12:00 and if I ran down Grey St., Fox Hill and along the Old Marcus Street, I would just be in time to hear it come storming up the tunnel with a bunch of wagons. It would drop these on the transfer lines and the pick-up the ones to take back down. There was often another transfer about 7:15 in the evening.

It was a twin track tunnel but only one track - the one nearest to the Wicker - was ever used. The other one was piled up with rubble.

Regards

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Thanks for your memories Falls, very interesting. Maybe this photo on Picture Sheffield is closer to how you remember it:

http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=t02417

there's also a view through the tunnel from the Wicker end:

http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=u04674

Jeremy

Thanks for the pictures. I never knew if the locomotive was special for the job, because of the steep climb. To me it was just a regular 0-6-0 loco with tender (I'll make guess at a Class 3F). It was no "Lickey Banker" that's for sure but it might have had driving wheels with a much smaller diameter than other 0-6-0's.

Regards

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  • 2 weeks later...
pgmetcalf

I can actually see the tunnel from the office building. Occasionally I might see a railtour go past the Wicker Arches up to Stocksbridge or a Class 66 hauling steel down from the works.

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  • 1 year later...
Stuart0742

I can actually see the tunnel from the office building. Occasionally I might see a railtour go past the Wicker Arches up to Stocksbridge or a Class 66 hauling steel down from the works.

Now the car dealership has been demolished, the bricked up eastern portal can clearly be seen, plus an idea of the size of the area can be gained.

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There are stories that some workmen died when they fell through into the tunnel when working in the properties that used to be above it. I also believe it was used to store wagons containing explosive during one of the wars.

I have a bit of history of part of the tunnel collapsing killing six workmen and badly injuring another working on a building next to it 1861

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  • 3 months later...
Guest Coldstreamer

I think the tunnel must have fell into disuse in the early 1950's as I and a few other pals from around pitsmoor and bridgehouses used to play on what we called the "Old Hill" and the "Bull Rocks" which led from the end of Marcus Street to the bottom of Brunswick Road near Wigfall's (Wigfull's) Flour Mills. At the Bridgehouses end of the tunnel there was a loading dock and cattle pens. One of my friends and me decided one day to walk through the tunnel to Wicker goods yard, you could see straight through to the other end, so off we set. We didn't get very far, once in the dark we bottled it and came out quicker then we went in. Happy days.

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  • 1 month later...

I think the tunnel must have fell into disuse in the early 1950's as I and a few other pals from around pitsmoor and bridgehouses used to play on what we called the "Old Hill" and the "Bull Rocks" which led from the end of Marcus Street to the bottom of Brunswick Road near Wigfall's (Wigfull's) Flour Mills. At the Bridgehouses end of the tunnel there was a loading dock and cattle pens. One of my friends and me decided one day to walk through the tunnel to Wicker goods yard, you could see straight through to the other end, so off we set. We didn't get very far, once in the dark we bottled it and came out quicker then we went in. Happy days.

Hi,

This has nothing to do with Fiery Jack but re-reading this post did jog my memory.

I well remember these cattle pens and the little lane leading up to them from Brunswick Road. My recollections of the area would be the early 1940s to mid 1970's. My Father however, had worked on Stanley Street since the early1920's and he had a good story to tell about one shipment of livestock from the pens.

Most people know that Castle Gate was only created in the late 1930's. Before that, the area was known as the 'Shambles' where livestock (cattle, sheep pigs, etc.) were slaughted. Apparently it was an evil smelling place. Some live stock came in by lorry but most came by rail. Obviously, there was no direct rail connection, so drovers were employed to move the stock along city streets. If the stock came in on the Midland/ LMS, it was driven out of the Wicker Goods Yard and straight up the Wicker. If however the stock arrived on the GCR/LNER, it was off-loaded into the pens near the Fiery Jack Tunnel. Then drovers would move them from the pens on to Brunswick Road, along Stanley Street and up the Wicker to the Shambles.

One day, a shipment of pigs had been brought down from the pens and were being driven along Stanley Street. Pigs were notorious for giving the drovers trouble so when a bunch of them were seen in the street, everyone turned out to watch. This particular bunch seemed to be in a class of their own and when they reached the junction of Stanley and Joiner Street, one very large porker made a run-for-it and shot into the archway of a company called Snow's.

That was bad enough but instead of going into the yard beyond, it veered to the right and fell down a flight of steep wooden steps in to a cellar. Of course the drovers went ballistic and the only way to get the pig out was for two of them climbing down into the cellar and then try to push the pig up the steep steps while the other drovers pulled on a rope around the pig's front end. Of course the pig wasn't too happy about this, was squelling and at critical point in the rescue operation, decide to have a bowel movement. This went in all directions but mainly over the two drovers at the back.

Eventually the pig was hoisted out of the cellar and then the drovers had to be hosed-down. Not a pleasant experience in January.

Regards

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  • 7 months later...

Now the car dealership has been demolished, the bricked up eastern portal can clearly be seen, plus an idea of the size of the area can be gained.

Just a heads up guys, if you want to see Fiery Jack from Savile Street for the last time i would get down there sharpish as there is a building going up right across the front of the tunnel opening with the new Tesco development down there :(

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