1914 - Closure
The outbreak of war in 1914 led to the volunteering and conscription of some of the men working at the quarries and limeworks. Replacements were needed to maintain the workforce, and these were drawn from German and Italian prisoners of war.
The production of limestone became fairly erratic during the war and afterwards, as shown in the accompanying graph. The output from the newly restored Warner Quarry failed to live up to expectations and Hilt’s quarry continued to be difficult to work. Demand was variable – this even led to the temporary closure of the kilns for a year in 1922 and terminating the use of Dale Quarry.
The old vertical-
A standard gauge locomotive (Peckett four coupled saddletank (0-
The reopening of Warner Quarry was not successful, and Hilt’s quarry was worked right up to the adjoining houses. This led to the cessation of quarrying operations, and then to the closure of the limeworks business in 1933.
The narrow gauge track was sold for scrap, and the wagons were cut up for scrap at the Hat Factory (see opposite). The two remaining narrow-
The tunnel at Fritchley was used as an air-
From 1950, Hilt’s Quarry was used as a municipal rubbish tip. In 1961 the Butterley Company sold the whole site – quarries, wharf and infrastructure at Bullbridge, and the gangroad route itself, to a development company. The Amber Wharf site was re-
Derbyshire County Council obtained the Warner Quarry and the old route from Dimple Lane for use as a landfill site in 1983.
The Hat Factory itself has been skilfully restored and is now an attractive multi-
Apart from this most of the rest of the railway has survived remarkably well, including some remains of the original 1793 alignment.
The Butterley Company itself went into liquidation in 2009.