Bob’s Run To Bancroft Mill
8 members turned up at the picnic site to start the run on a nice sunny morning. The route took us up up the A672 through Read and Simonstone round the east side of Pendle Hill and on to Blacko and then Barnoldswick where we turned off to Bancroft Mill. The engineers at the mill all came out to look at the bikes and we then went into the mill to see the exhibits. First a cuppa in the cafe was taken as they were stoking the boiler and then into the main mill engine hall to see the engine in steam.
The main engine is a cross compound engine with Corless valve gear and was very well maintained and impressive in operation. The first level line shafting was in place but the weaving sheds have been demolished. A few working examples of weaving looms and associated equipment was also in action and a very knowlegeable gentleman was very good at answering all the questions we had about the machines.
We then visited the boiler house where a Cornish boiler was being stoked with old pallets to produce the steam to run the engines. There is also a large Lancashire boiler in the boilerhouse but this was just used to provide cooling water for the condensers.
In another engine shed was a large tandem compound engine that had been brought there from another mill. This again was a very interesting engine and the proud engineer who reassembled it and got it working was pleased to tell us all about the restoration and operation of the engine as well as the use of the indicator and its use in timing the valves.
Around the engine halls were objects from the days of operation including a small array of Lancashire clogs and many small model steam engines and boilers.
Back then to to the bikes and a group ride out to find the lunch stop which was the Lock Stop Cafe by the Canal just outside Barnoldswick. A very pleasant couple served us and we sat outside to eat our lunches.
After lunch we set off to Bracewell crossing the A59 to Horton and then Bolton by Bowland to Clitheroe where members started to peel off to go their separate ways home.
A lovely run out well planned by Bob and a great mill to visit for the engineering types.