cweston

Forty Bridges or Giltbrook/ Kimberley/ Awsworth Viaduct

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I am staggered how little there is on the web about forty bridges, at the start of the Pinxston branch of the GNR, also known as Kimberley or Giltbrook or Awsworth Viaduct. I only have a vague memory of it as a kid - just remember how beautifully long and curved it was.

I appreciate this is barely Nottingham but, given that most of Nottingham now comes shopping at Ikea which is just north of the site of the viaduct, can I ask if anyone has any information or photos? Photos I've found only seem to show a small part of it.

Thanks greatly,

CW

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True, even picture the past has very little, there is a pub, old white place, you get to it via subway under bypass or dead end road, might be called The Gate? They had a framed panoramic professional framed photo of viaduct on the wall, best I ever saw, no idea if still there or come to that if pub still there! A few years ago it was featured on tv as regulars there had a "Kim Tate (Emmerdale) Fan Club" whenever she came on the screen they all bowed and said "Hail Kim" !! (probably from over the border?) I just about remember the viaduct, think one wall of it left in Bamfords lorry scrap yard

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If you are talking about the structure that can be seen to the right when going down Challans Way Ilkeston,

I was on the top of that structure with a work commitment earlier in the year.

Takes some getting to, an I had to access it via railway land off a Bridge (Awsworth Road Perhaps?)

There is no public access AFAIK?

Looking at Google Earth or Maps.Google.co.uk might be good?

Images anyone?

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A while ago we had a book out of Kimberley Library which shown it to great detail even mapped out the Archway that was made into a home for the workers whilst they were building it....the same book also had all the tech specs of the Bennerley Viaduct showing its construction and all the measurements....ill have a look see if i scanned any of it.

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Thats not the same viaduct Mick, he means the lovely brick arched example on the beginning of the Pinxton branch that curved off from the Friargate line just past the signal box. I remember standing on the signal box and taken a picture of an Aussie on a freight, but I can't find it!!

What will astonish you is this:-

ilkobn.jpg

It's the original bridge number off the viaduct, when the line had been closed we walked the whole length of it, I also have the GNR plate off the first level crossing on the line just up from the viaduct, some great posters that I found lying about in Giltbrook and Pinxton Stations, which are rolled up next to me as I write this, and most of the contents of Eastwood Signal Box.

I'll try and photo and publish them if you are interested.

Just noted your picture Fynger as I was writing this, great find.

The bridge number came off the first abutment on the right hand end as you look at the picture.

Well, at least a small part of it has been saved, even if it lives in Essex.

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great photo, did anyone else get first impression that the train is going towards nottingham? ie left to right, reinforced by loco smoke also seeming to do that? It would of course be going in opposite direction, any idea of year of photo?

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Was the pub the Shipley Gate? I think it changed its name to the Shipley Boat, and is now the MFN Biker Pub! Still going strong I believe.

I well remember the viaduct - amazing piece of engineering almost certainly paid for by coal!

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Was wrong re it being white but not the shipley gate (boat) if still there it's on the old road where you now go to the hog's head which was main road from kimberley to ilkeston, theres a good photo of it and other parts of the viaduct on picture the past

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Thanks for all your efforts. Firbeck's is the best picture I have seen of the viaduct, but I will continue to search for a photo that shows the whole length; Firbeck's just misses the Awsworth Road arch at the east end.

Two more (sad) questions:

How many arches were there? - Reportedly not 40, but I have read numbers from mid 30s to mid 40s.

Is the arch almost directly under the engine on Firbeck's photo for the MR Bulwell to Bennerley line (if that is what it was called)?

On the Youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r-VlWZXqxU...feature=related between 2.08 and 2.23 (shot at Awsworth station) you really get a feel for how long the viaduct was - but can't count the arches!

Thanks

CW

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Yep...the small arch next to the 40 Arches is the old MR line...that Arch still exists today just off the side of the M1. ( if you go to my 'Flickr' site "bluegrass1957" there is a pic of an old Tatty van....that is right beside the arch showing an advert onto the motorway. )

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flynger think cweston has credited your photo to firbeck, do you (or anyone) have any pics of bridges ove/under arnold road or anything else of interest in that area? just going to your flicka site

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Never realised those 2 railways ran so close together, That MR "tunnel", it seems to be going through an "embankment" ? was there in fact a line above that? there used to be no end of little branch lines etc, the M1 is built on route of one near watnall brickworks, can remember the old bridge over it on the hucknall to watnall road

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As Ashley has pointed out to me.....NO that arch isnt the one i was thinking of ( wrong side of Ikea for a start )....Oooopppps.

No i'm not offended by the Firbeck mix up.....he's usually the one with all the info so was a compliment realy.

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From what I can see, if you look on http://www.ponies.me.uk/maps/osmap.html the MR is on the embankment going under the viaduct - probably closed when the photograph was taken hence looking overgrown. There seems to be a mineral line going from just west of Awsworth station to "Giltbrook Colliery" (if that is indeed what it was called) that went under the MR through the same bridge as the Nottingham canal then under another arch of viaduct before crossing the B6010 where the roundabout turning into Ikea is now - but this doesn't explain the tunnel under the embankment.

I can't see a tunnel under the embankment on the "ponies" map unless I have everything 180 degrees out (there is one on the other side of the viaduct), but I'm pretty sure Fynger's photo is looking towards the north west with Awsworth Road in the foreground.

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great photo, did anyone else get first impression that the train is going towards nottingham? ie left to right, reinforced by loco smoke also seeming to do that?

It must have been a windy day Ashley, look at the aspect of that glorious GNR somersault signal, can't work out what sort of loco though, any ideas.

Sorry I got the credit Fynger!!!

The problem with this area, especially as shown on old maps, is that there seemed to be mineral tramways running all over the place, having been around at the time when all of this was wiped off the face of the earth, I just wish I'd taken more pictures of the infrastructure rather than the trains, but as a kid, you couldn't afford it and just tried to make every picture count.

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Loco looks too big to be one of the ubiquitous J6's...could be a larger Gresley J39, from 1926 onward. With a newish pair of NE 21 tonners, at 8 & 9, and private owner wagons dominating - I'd guess it dates from the 30's...

Cheers

Robt P.

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,,,, just looked on google maps for this,,,,,, and although 'Kimberley Viaduct' is listed,,,,, I was expecting to see a river which the bridge spanned.

,,,,don't know why i'm interested, but can anyone tell me where I might find the spot on google please ?

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Bottom end of Kimberley...Giltbrook......40 Arches ( called 40 Bridges locally ) had 43 arches and is where the Big Island is near Ikea......on old maps if you find the 2 Kimberley stations...the GNR crosses over the MR that was the Viaduct....

Ive just found some other pics of it so i'll post them soon

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yes did realise which way it was going! the signal as you say, plus driving on the left (down line) and far as I know "pushing" not allowed? The arch where the embankment is looks wider than the others? and we can't see what's other side of embankment so who knows? maybe the "tunnel" just a farmer's access? If anyone wants good clear maps of such (or anywhere else) you can view and get photocopies if map is 50 years + old for 20p by going to Nottm Central Library Angel Row local history dept top floor, maps are something like 26 inch to the mile so every signal , sign post etc clearly seen, and if you ask nicely and can produce id you can get into the photo room where theres 10's of thousands of large local photos all in alphabet or subject order filing cabinets, again most can be copied, here is example of map, showing Daybrook Station

Picture039.jpg

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