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From about 1866 to 1986 Yorkshire coal was transported in 40 ton containers or compartment boats known as "Tom Puddings" down the Aire and Calder Canal to Goole. These 40 ton containers were first loaded at the colliery on dry land, then taken by train to the canal and lowered into the water. These were then assembled into single trains of up to 14 compartment boats which were pulled down the canal to Goole by a single tug. At Goole a similar coal tippler was used to lift the Tom Puddings out of the dock and tipple them into waiting ships.

The following web site shows a photograph of a Tom Pudding compartment boat on a pair of six wheeled bogies being shunted by an industrial saddle tank: http://www.goole-on-the-web.org.uk/main.php?key=189.

This photograph shows a Tom Pudding about to be lowered into the canal after descending an inclined plane from the colliery:
http://www.pitwork.net/jstocks/Stanley%20Ferry%20Basin.jpg. Photograph from Joe Stoke's collection.

Finally this short video shows a train of loaded tom puddings and the tippler in use at Goole. http://www.waterwaysmuseum.org.uk/video7.htm

I hope you enjoy looking at this remarkable piece of our industrial history. A tippler, a tug and some compartment boats are preserved at the Yorkshire Waterways Museum at Goole.

Colombo
 

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I've been interested in inland waterways for many years, only a few short of the years I've been interested in railways and models thereof. I had come across 'Tom Puddings' in numerous articles beforehand in various waterways magazines but never heard of them being lifted out of the water and conveyed by rail to be filled at the colliery before.
Bearing in mind that they are around 15ft wide, well over the loading gauge in the UK, I wonder if they had to rebuild the incline to accomodate the extra width?
The photo of one being moved by a loco suggests to me this is a shipyard from the surrounding scenery. The chassis carrying it looks much lighter that the one in use on the incline and I wonder if it would be able to cope with 40 tons of coal on top of the weight of the boat. The 'Tom Pudding' also looks rather new, neat and tidy!

Regards,
John Webb
 

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"The photo of one being moved by a loco suggests to me this is a shipyard from the surrounding scenery. The chassis carrying it looks much lighter that the one in use on the incline and I wonder if it would be able to cope with 40 tons of coal on top of the weight of the boat. The 'Tom Pudding' also looks rather new, neat and tidy!"

John,

I can assure you that the Tom Pudding shown in the canal picture at Stanley Ferry was in the process of being lowered into the canal by that saddle tank, having been brought down the incline from the colliery. The first website describes thgis process which apparently took place at each colliery.

This is an operation that to my knowledge has never been modelled.

Colombo
 

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Colombo,

Sorry - on re-reading my post I realise I may not have got my thoughts across clearly. I happily accept the Stanley Ferry photo clearly shows the full 'Tom Pudding' about to be lowered into the water. It was the other photo of an apparently empty Tom Pudding and no given location which I wondered might perhaps be the ship/boat yard where they were constructed. The carrying truck looked a lot more lightweight than the one in the Stanley Ferry photo.
Or may be it's just my eyes!


Regards,
John Webb
 
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