Fires of Prometheus


On the B6213 Fountain Street roundabout in Morley, south east of Leeds, stands a Hudson V-skip tipper wagon, spilling its load of flowers into the surrounding flowerbed. The wagon originally formed part of the Leeds Industrial Museum collection, but was deaccessioned in the 1990s. It presumably memorialises the Robert Hudson connection with the town, both through ownership of collieries and the nearby location of the wagon works.

It is a very relevant example of the use of disused industrial wagons to act as memorials to now-vanished mines, quarries and other activities. Mine wagons especially can be found all over the world marking places that have lost a principal reason for being, a major employer, a maker and destroyer of local landscapes, a site of tragedy or the glue that held a community together. So meaningful are these objects that in some cases, if no original wagons have survived, replicas have been constructed (e.g. Wallyford, Lothian, a wagon memorialising miners killed in local mines). This can be confusing for historians of wagons!

It is of course very likely that some of these wagons will have originated in Leeds. This research has not located a gazeteer of these memorials, though they are regularly reported in the publications of the Industrial Railway Society.

Hudson tipper wagon used at flower container on roundabout
Hudson wagon on roundabout, Morley, near Leeds, West Yorkshire.
white painted mine tub at the entrance to Gedling Country Park, site of the closed colliery
Mine at at the entrance to Gedling Country Park, Nottinghamshire (colliery closed 1991).