Huge boiler was a traffic stopper

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THIS photograph, taken on August 8 1958, shows what is possibly the largest boiler ever to be transported by road through the Spen Valley.

It was kindly loaned to us by reader and history and transport enthusiast Philip Tordoff and shows the boiler as it makes its way past Thorntonville on Bradford Road.

“Weighing in at 105 tons, its size may be assessed by comparison with the double deck bus which is waiting to overtake,” said Philip.

“The bus itself is a Brush-bodied Leyland PD2 built about 1948. It is on route G — now the 268 — which operated on a frequent basis between Dewsbury and Cleckheaton, extending to Moorend at peak hours and on Saturdays.

“It was one of the last of the ‘narrow’ double deckers with a width of only 7ft 6ins, which was shortly to be extended to 8ft.

“The sturdy Pickford towing truck is one of the powerful Scammels which were often seen towing military tanks slowly up Moorside, Cleckheaton, in the late 1940s, and it is being preceded by police escort.

“To the left of the bus in the far distance may be spotted the twin towers of the huge Central Methodist Church, Parkside, which was to be demolished only a few years later.”