Report - Wardley Coal Deposit Plant, 17-03-09

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Sgt. Pepper

After having walked around a farm today, I decided to walk over to the Coal depot, which was unused.

I didn't get a massive amount of photos cause I'd walked quite a way and visiting this site was more of an afterthought having been to the farmhouse, also the battery warning was on my camera, so I didn't know how long I had before they went totally.

Anyway, heres the photos.










The rest are here

Northern Exposure

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Feb 11, 2007
Re: Wardly Coal Deposit Plant, 17-03-09

From info I have gathered and been told about, back in the early 80's the NCB or equivalent tried to streamline costs and this was built as a central (geographically speaking) depot to distribute coal from the local mines to the various rail / shipping lines.

The coal would be brought in via rail then stored and sorted before being shipped out by rail.
The ironic thing is, shortly after it was finished, the mines closed. This is a big white elephant.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Dec 21, 2008
Since I was the one that complained, I suppose it falls on me...

The Wardley site was originally Wardley No.1 Colliery - this was in production prior to 1868 when it was acquired by John Bowes & Partners. It was closed in 1911 and replaced by nearby Follonsby Colliery. Wardley was reopened in 1938 by the Washington Coal Co, nationalised in 1947 and was merged with Follonsby Colliery by the NCB around 1959. This in turn was merged with Usworth Colliery in 1969 and it finally closed in August 1974.

The site was then re-used for an opencast washery named Wardley Disposal Point - this is what remains. A Disposal Point was usually a central coal washery serving a number of separate opencast sites, though occasionally was just for one long life site. Wardley DP was opened in 1989 or 1990 as a replacement for Swalwell DP, the site of which was then used for the Metro Centre. Wardley passed to RJB Mining (now UK Coal) on privatisation in 1995 and was closed in 2005. However, it may reopen at some point as UK Coal has other potential opencast sites in the area which would use Wardley.

The site now seems to be used by a container and skip hire outfit named Containers 2000.

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