BRIEF HISTORY OF LOCOMOTIVE
The locomotive was built by the HUNSLET Engine Company, Leeds with the Makers serial Number of 6348.
The locomotive was delivered new on the 21 February 1975 to British Coal, North East Area, Murton Colliery, Durham Coalfield, for working on the extensive surface system there handling materials between the stockyard, workshops and shafts; It replaced an old battery-electric loco previously employed on this work.
13 OCTOBER 1983
The locomotive was transferred to Ashington Central Workshops for repair.
18 DECEMBER 1985
The main purpose of the centre was to provide training for drivers of underground locomotives; this loco could not be used as this, not being an underground design, but it was useful because it had an electric starter, and was normally used for track maintenance duties.
With the closure of the centre and the Vane Tempest-Seaham Combine, the loco was made redundant and moved to the Vane Tempest Colliery for an overhaul and repaint, prior to being donated to Woodhorn Colliery Museum.
3 NOVEMBER 1993
Transferred to Woodhorn Colliery Museum.
24 MARCH 1996
Official opening of passenger service and naming ceremony by Cllr. Colin Parker (Chair of Leisure committee), loco named " BLACK DIAMOND".
Most of the workforce was either transferred to other pits in the area or took early retirement. At one time, there had been over 200 pit ponies at Woodhorn. In 1981 most of the remaining ponies went to Ellington Colliery but "Rod", "King", "Brig", "Smokey" were kept on to help with salvage work. Some of Woodhorn Colliery's surface buildings and structures were demolished in the 1980's (notably the pit head baths and lamp cabin) before it was decided to preserve the remaining buildings a mining museum. The museum opened in 1989 and is currently attracting 40,000 - 45,000 visitors per year.
Displayed in the Museum are paintings by the Ashington Group -local miners who, through their art, vividly portray life and work in the Ashington area since the 1930's
The Woodhorn Matters meet at the Colliery every Thursday and Sunday. Feel free to watch them practicing this traditional craft or have a go yourself.
Ashington has produced no less than 4 Footballers of the Year -Bobby and Jack Charlton, Jimmy Adamson and 'Wor Jackie' Milburn. The Ashington's Football Heroes display celebrates this unique sporting heritage.