40th Anniversary of the end of Ironstone Mining in the East Midlands

Forty years ago nearly 100 years of opencast mining for ironstone came to an end when the pits that served the giant steelworks at Corby ceased extraction. The last working day was 3rd January 1980 when three pits at Shotley, Harringworth Lodge and Great Oakley loaded and dispatched their final loads to the steelworks. On that day Driver S. Spencer and Roperunner C. Crane took loco No.52 to Shotley to collect 20 loaded wagons conveying some 504 tons of ironstone bound for the steelworks.

With their work done the giant quarry draglines at the ironstone quarries seemed to dip their heads as their long booms were lowered onto a platform of heaped overburden to take the weight off the supporting wire ropes and the access doors and windows were boarded up.

Rocks by Rail has an exhibition to mark the history of the ironstone quarries in the Corby area, opening at Easter. Check our ‘What’s On and Events’ page for full details of the 2020 Programme.

The pictures below, from left to right are: 1. 110RB Loading train at Corby Quarry; 2. S&L 52 with loaded train and below 3. Sundew with jib lowered.

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