MINING ENGINEERING CO LTD, WORCESTER
Grid Reference: SO 833544
The Mining Engineering Co Ltd (Meco) works was originally based at Moorfields near Sheffield but during 1925 it moved to a new site on the Bromyard Road at Worcester on the east side of the Worcester & Hereford Railway. The firm specialised in the manufacture of mining rescue apparatus and compressed air drills, conveyors and other equipment. The firm expanded to occupy other nearby sites and established a world-wide market for conveyors and bulk materials handling machinery. The company was founded in 1909 and installed its first Belt Conveyors in 1912.
The two photographs above are the front cover and inside title page of a typical manual showing how to install and maintain one of Meco's staple products. In this case for a top loading coal face conveyor belt. There old manuals are quite scarce and this one was spotted by an eagle eyed MIAC member on a bric a brac stall at Abergavenny Market for the bargain price of 10p.
In 1927, a standard gauge siding was laid from the main line fromt to the original works. Two cranes were used to enable wagons to be loaded.
Meco was sold to the Dowty group in the 1970s and became part of the Joy Mining Machinery division of Joy Global Inc, Warrendale, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. This company was established by Joseph Joy in 1919. A narrow gauge (2'0") railway served the works but being on a higher level than the main line the locos could not be viewed from the train. The railway was still in use in May 1976 when it was reported that there was a small track layout in the yard for taking containers of paint between shops. However the internal railway closed later the same year.
Subsequently the original works was closed and demolished and a tenpin bowling alley and fitness centre was built, but some narrow gauge track was still evident in August 2004.
LOCOMOTIVE FLEET (1967)
4wDM Lister 28039 of 1945 carried the road registration BFK 454 as seen in the above image of the locomotive stabled in the yard. (Photograph taken by Pete Wilcox). It was originally petrol drive but was rebuilt as a diesel locomotive in 1962). It was sold for preservation about April 1977.
DFK 538 4wDM Lister 34523 of 1949. This locomotive was sold for preservation in July 1972 .
Both locomotives were delivered new to this site.
The photographs (below) were taken by Pete Wilcox.
4wPM Lister 973 of c1930. This locomotive came from Lister's in 1935 and was converted to a flat wagon and was still in use 10/1968.
Much of the trackwork of the railway could still be seeon in 2022 as the ravages of the weather and the poor quality of the tarmac had exposed large sections of track as shown in these two photographs taken by Andrew Smith on 3rd April 2022 (below).