27th August 2012
This photograph shows the 1892 date stone installed at Hollingwood Lock in August 2011. We explain below why its new location is a fitting one and the story of how it got to Hollingwood Hub.
We have just been sent this photo by Peter Martin. It was taken by his father, George W Martin, on Saturday 2nd March 1963 – the last day of passenger traffic on this line. It shows the date stone in its original position atop the northern portal of the Chesterfield Tunnel, just south of the old Chesterfield Central Station. This was removed when the Inner Relief Road was built in the early 1980s. The road followed the line of the old GCR to Sheepbridge. You can still see the southern end of the tunnel at the bottom of Hollis Lane.
This shows the date stone at Hollingwood twelve months on – August 2012. You can see that our Work Party have done a superb job, as have our gardeners. The low wall to the left of the pillar is new.
The stone is set into the abutments of what was the old Staveley Works Station. This was on the Chesterfield Loop line that ran from Staveley Central, through Staveley Works, Brimington, Chesterfield Central and Grassmoor Stations before rejoining the main line at Heath.
This shows Staveley Works Station looking towards Mill Green. The abutments that now hold the Date Stone are on the right of the canal. The station building on the right is where Hollingwood Hub car park is now. The Lock House can not be seen, it is obscured by the station building on the left.
In May 2011, we asked our Work Party to get this stone (about 4′ x 3′ x 1′) …..
………. into this hole.
The stone is pictured lying in a secret location, its home for very many years. Chesterfield Borough Council gave us permission to move it to the abutment wall at Hollingwood. This wall was for Staveley Works Station which opened on 4th June 1892.
In the 1890s, the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway began construction of its Derbyshire Lines, which eventually became part of the Great Central Railway. To build the railway, the MSLR cut out a loop of the original canal that went through Staveley Works. This loop is pictured above. The new cut goes more or less straight across the bottom of the loop. Hollingwood Lock is roughly where the X is.
Anyway, back to the stone, which weighs about three quarters of a ton.
First it had to be dragged up the hill – it was in the gap on the left; you can just see it at the top of the hill by the gate.
Then it was put onto the trailer. This is being done by Dave using a Tirfor winch attached to the front of the trailer, whilst Terry demonstrates how easy it is!
Upon the return to Hollingwood, everyone came out to admire it.
Off to Ralph’s house to clean it with his pressure washer.
Compare this to the opening photo!
Back at Hollingwood, it was lowered onto the bank until the receiving hole was ready. Note the admiring audience!
The tricky bit – lowering it into place.
Dave starts to cement it in and do the brickwork.