A scenic run around The Kirklees area to see – Victoria & Alexandra.The World’s Largest Working Steam Mill Engines
The run is meeting at ? at 9:30 leaving at 10:00,
In the late 1880’s the Ellenroad spinning Company was formed to respond to the boom in the cotton trade. They turned to the well respected Oldham architects, Scott & Sons, to managed the design and construction.
The mill was a modern “fireproof” structure of five storeys, 100 yards long and 50 yards wide with a conditioning cellar and warehouse. It accommodated 99,756 mule spindles made by Platts of Oldham with drawing frames and carding machines.
The engine house was a separate building. The company went to the local firm of J&W McNaught for the steam engine and chose a triple-expansion horizontal engine. This gave the greatest efficiency in terms of power per ton of coal. Steam was raised by five Lancashire boilers which needed a 220ft chimney to provide enough draft.
In 1892 the engines were named Victoria and Alexandra and the first cotton was produced.
Disaster and Rebirth
In 1916 a fire broke out that destroyed the whole of the cotton mill except for the engine house, boiler house and chimney stack. The decision was taken to rebuild the mill and install Ring Spinning frames.
The Ellenroad Ring Spinning Mill re-opened in 1921 powered by its mighty 3000 horsepower twins, Victoria and Alexandra. The flywheel, 28 feet in diameter and weighing over 80 tons, provided the drive through 44 ropes to line shafts on five floors of the mill. All the boilers were replaced with new Lancashires, raising steam at 180 pounds per square inch.
The mill machinery continued to be powered by the 3000hp engines until electrification of the mill in 1975, when this, the last of the great steam engines of the Lancashire cotton age, was stopped for the last time. The mill survived only a few years until 1985 when it was demolished. However, the engines and boiler house, including a Lancashire boiler and the 220-foot high chimney, were saved.
As usual members (and prospective members) are welcome to join or leave an any point, please let us know if you intend to do this so we are not waiting for you, and if you are leaving mid route, ensure that the cars behind know you are leaving the convoy, or you may find you have extra guests at your house for tea !!
The route card is now at
Please print it out and bring it with you (or send it to your phone as a .pdf), this is a Health and Safety requirement.
If you have not already done so please read The Clubs Good Driving Guide
Burton and Lesley
About Ellenroad Trust and the Steam Museum Society
The Ellenroad Trust Ltd was established in 1985 to ensure the preservation of the Ellenroad Engine House and Engines. The Trust arranged the refurbishment of the boiler house and the engines and started to run the site as a steam museum. The Engine House was then scheduled as a National Historic Monument and the Trust is the legal guardian of the site.
The Ellenroad Steam Museum Society Ltd was formed as ‘The Friends of Ellenroad’ and is tasked by the Trust to carry out the day to day activities on the site. It maintains the building, engines and exhibits and organises the monthly steaming days when the Engine House is open to the public. At the present time it is entirely run by volunteers.