Groby Granite Quarry

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

Groby Granite Quarry, just south of Blaenau Ffestiniog, opened in 1901 and closed circa 1932. Boyd says the quarry was operated by the Groby Granite Company Ltd. See this external link which suggests it was connected to the FR by its own branch line from 1914 to c 1932, though it seems the line was opened earlier than this.

The original Groby Quarry, owned by the same company, was at Groby, a village about 6 miles North West of Leicester. (See this external link for information about the Leicestershire quarry and its railway.) Groby Granite Company Limited was formed in 1865 but the quarry was operating by the time it was linked in 1832 to a canal by a short standard gauge railway about the construction of which George Stephenson and his son Robert advised after visiting. The Leicestershire granite quarry had 546 employees in 1902. The quarry had both 2 foot gauge and standard gauge railways, and was the original home of the locomotive later known as Lady Madcap. The Leicestershire village of Groby also had slate quarries. The last Groby slate quarry closed in 1908. Charles Wesley the lessee was unable to compete with the very much lighter and cheaper Welsh slate then being brought into Leicestershire by the Midland Railway.

According to an internet listing of the book Groby & Its Railways (1983), it includes a brief description of the Welsh Groby Granite Quarry, owned by the same company as the Groby quarries but located near Blaenau Ffestiniog.

The following other pages of Festipedia refer to Groby Quarry or its branch line.

Groby Junction: Groby Junction was opened in April 1908 to serve The Groby Granite Co. Ltd. The branch line was originally worked by FR England locos, and had the steepest gradient at 1 in 25 and the smallest radius (apart from Tyler's Curve before it was eased) at 2 chains that these engines had to work over. Additional sidings were added in November 1913. The line fell into disuse and was lifted in the 1930s. The rails are still in the road crossing under the tarmac today.

Groby Granite Locomotives An unknown number of unidentified petrol locomotives owned by the Groby Granite Co Ltd worked the quarry branch from about 1930, replacing FR locomotives, but only lasted for a few years before the line was closed.

The Cherry Picker The cherry picker itself was a self-contained, skid-mounted unit bolted onto an old Bedford CF Van, dumped in the scrap yard in the old Groby granite quarry near Blaenau.

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