THE OLD TRAM ROAD-WAGGON ROAD, OUTWOOD PART 1


 Before It became known as Grand Stand Road


Wagon-Road


When the Grandstand Races, on the Outwood, ended in l794 due to the Implementation of the Enclosures Act nothing happened until about 1796 when the actual physical enclosures took place.

Around the beginning of the l9th. Century the proprietors of the Lake Lock railway bought from the Enclosures Commissioners that stretch of land which we now know as Grandstand Road, but would then have been the defunct carriageway to the great Grandstand and out of use for a number of years after the closing of the Races.

The proprietors of the Lake Lock line wanted to extend their rail track, so as to be able to accept coal from the numerous small collieries that abounded around the villages of Lawns, Outwood and Lofthouse, which it intended to transport down to the Calder at Lake Lock. 

From where it could be transported by barge  to various places throught the country. 

Before the Enclosures Act, the coal had been transported by horse and cart, on various tracks and trails through the Outwood to Lake Lock at Bottomboat. 

When the weather was wet and the tracks were impassable for carts, the coal was transported on the backs of horses by a kind of pannier arrangement. 

One can see what an enormous benefit this rail track brought to the locality, apart from the work itself and not only the coal it carried, but also the commodities it brought back i.e. lime, for agriculture, which had been burned in the kilns at Bottomboat, also stone from the local quarries in the area around Lake Lock. 

It is a known fact that quite an amount of stone was used in repairs done to the Wakefield to Leeds turnpike road at Lofthouse Gate. 

Apart from the above many other items would have been transported to serve the needs of the people in the Outwood area.

The whole length of the track stretched from the border of East Ardsley in the west to the .Aire and Calder navigation canal, at Lake Lock, in the east, a distance of about two and a half miles. 

The carting of coal carried on from around the year 1800 to about 1840. This was no small enterprise for those days, and in the year 1806 one hundred and nine thousand tons of coal was transported down this line to Lake Lock.

Work came to a halt about 1840 when the whole enterprise ceased to be viable.

The early Ordinance Survey. Maps, show it as the "Tram Road" but to most people living in the villages of Lawns, Carr Gate or Outwood it was generally known as the “Waggon Road”.

This was due to the fact that the coal transported along its length was, by what was known as, "Half Waggons“ each one holding about one and a half tons.  against normal waggons, which usually contained two and a half tons. 

The track itself was one of the first in the country to be adapted for use with flanged wheels, the rails being set in stone sleeper blocks. 

There being a slight downhill gradient nearly all the way from East Ardsley to Lake Lock the waggons travelled mainly by gravity and any flat stretches where a little help was needed, it was provided by horses.

On the steep parts the loaded waggons were controlled by the use of brakes or steel lockers in the wheels. 

Empty waggons were brought up for refilling were pulled by horses, three waggons to one horse, unless of course they were coming back filled with stone, lime and such like, then extra horses would be requiredas in some places the gradient was rather steep. 

There were Smithies‘ situated at various places on the line where Blacksmiths would be stationed to do any necessary repairs to either waggons or track, also horses would. need their shoes attending to regularly. 

Continued in part two. "Grand Stand Road" with this item from the Yorkshire Post 1948

car


   Grand Stand Road, photographed yesterday, with a motorist at a standstill, one wheel in a water filled hole.

This is Grand Stand Road, the half mile stretch of mud and ruts running from Outwood to Carr Gate.

Which Mrs J.M.Lowery, a councillor on Stanley Urban District Council, thinks should be one of the illustrations used in one of the councils £25.000 fancy brochure.

Grand Stand Road, traditional site of an old racecourse takes its name from an old Grandstand that ran along side it.

Nobody seems to own it. Nobody seems to want it. The Urban Counci say “It is a private road, and has never been maintained by us” there is no likelihood that the Ministry of Transport will take it over.

The reason Grand Stand Road is not adopted is because the cost of putting down a good surface would be out of all proportion to the traffic using it.


Information kindly supplied by Bernard Arundel.

PART TWO


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