Head Wrightson

Runaway Bogie

Memory by: Dave o' Neill

At Head Wrightson Stockton Forge in 1968 there was a transfer carriage/bogie to allow the transfer of materials and products between the fitting, machine shop and fabrication shop. This flat bogie was on tracks and about the size of a large flat backed van. This was used on a regular basis to move materials etc.

On this particular day the transfer bogie had a shell from a ball mill on it, approximately 10 feet diameter and 12 feet long a weight including the bogie of approximately 5tons. Now the problem was that at the end of the machine shop the tracks ended and the path sloped away to a roller door and through onto the public road (road called the Black Path). Now as the bogie with the shell made its way into the fitting shop then the machine shop it picked up speed. Normally it would be stopped in time for the shell to be unloaded but on this occasion it was too fast and reached the end of the tracks, down the slope, through the open roller door and across the public road and came to rest at the far kerb. Now fortunately there was no passing traffic or people and no damage done apart from a set of tracks in the tarmac road.

The bogie with the shell were winched back into the workshop with the help of all those who were available. The roller door and road are still there today. Don’t know what modern day health and safety would have made of that with no high res vests!

Runaway Bogie