Conisborough Traction Engine Puffing.

September 1882

Mexborough and Swinton Times, September 29.

A Conisborough Traction Engine Puffing.

Richie Whitfield, driver, a youth of Conisborough, was charged with using a traction engine that did not consume its smoke on the highway at Warmsworth.

Policeman Harrington, at half past 12 at night, saw two engines belonging to Mr Andrew Burniston, of Conisborough, coming along the road and Whitfield’s, the smaller one, was sending forth clouds of black smoke, and though he tried to check it directly he viewed the policeman, he didn’t succeed until he had gone a mile, past West Terrace. He had been often cautioned by Harrington.

The owner was in charge of the larger engine.

Mr Hall for the defence, argued that, if the engine was good, with the latest improvements and consumed it’s own smoke as far as practical, no proceedings could be taken. He quoted improved, a case in which the Taff Vale railway company was concerned and called Mr Burniston, who said:

“On this day, September 1 when I and my man were coming to Doncaster, neither engine was overladen. Mine was an 8 horse engine and his a 6 horse. Our habit is to fire up before we reach a town or village, so to go through without smoke. We had passed through Warmsworth on this night, and before reaching, Balby, I fired up, and then told Whitfield to do so and he did.”

Cross-examined by Superintendent Sykes, he said the policeman had told him that he was going to summon the boy because he was impudent, an accusation which the youth denied.

He said to that the engines and the latest improvements, but that they always smoked when the engines were renewed, whatever coal was used.

The magistrates consulted, and the Chairman said:

“it is perfectly intolerable to the public that these engine should be allowed to issue horrible clouds of black smoke more often than is necessary, and we don’t think proper care was taken on this occasion. The boy as being cautioned before. Locomotives should travel with as little nuisance to the public as possible. We don’t think this has been the case here, and we put a fine of 40 shillings and costs.”

Superintendent Sykes told the magistrate that there had been complaints of the same engines, and that the day, a gentleman who wanted to drive through Warmsworth had to return because the lad wouldn’t let him pass.