| These devices, also termed Aerial
Bucketways, Aerial Flights, Aerial Tramways and 'Otto'
Ropeways, (and no doubt other terminology exists) have
always fascinated me. As a youngster, when heading
further north from Teesside into Durham, we would pass
under one running from one of the collieries out to the
coast, dumping shale and coal waste on the 'beach' to be
separated by the action of the tide and waves.
In more recent years I've observed (and usually recorded) the remains of such devices when noticed while exploring numerous mines and quarries - typically long abandoned. The creation of these 'Aerial Ropeways' pages have been inspired by these remains, and by a visit to (what I believe is) the last still working industrial aerial ropeway in the UK, at Claughton in Lancashire - a search of the web thereafter found that nobody had pulled together so much as a list of what has been installed and where, so hence the creation of the on-line gazetteer. Perhaps those which fascinate me most are those located in hilly or mountainous areas, these are also often the ones where remains tend to be more substantial, and so provide better rewards to the industrial archaeologist.
My initial focus is with the more common (at one time !) industrial installations of aerial ropeways designed to transport material over various distances, rather than those whose design incorporates a lifting function, such as 'blondins' or cableways, typically used in open quarrys or temporarily installed for construction projects, or the more recent passenger carrying ones, but in the fullness of time, I suspect that all types will be duly covered.
In any event, if you're aware of other locations in the UK where they have at one time been installed or are still working, please do let me know.
Note : Due to the potentially vast number ropeways which have been installed in the UK, which this section of my web pages attempts to cover, it will, by default, continue to evolve for several years - so please do bear with me. If you can help in any way, such as informing me of a ropeway which isn't listed, or providing more details (or corrections !) for one that is, then please do let me know, all contributions will be duly acknowledged - Mike Munro
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© Mike Munro
This page last updated on 8th August 2008