THE ANT & THE BEE
Appropriately named Bee and Ant, the two little steam engines were introduced to the mine in 1875 as a replacement to the ponies. Almost identical in appearance, they could apparently be identified by a slight difference in the smoke funnels. They were designed and built by Lewin Bros of Poole in Dorsett to the unusual gauge of nineteen inches and ran successfully hauling trucks of ore along the main adit until 1934. The last engine driver was 'Bokker' who lived in Glen Rd. The loco's were sold for scrap in 1935 and unfortunately there are no drawings to depict exactly how the engines worked.
Each engine usually pulled six trucks and it was rumored that a bow wave of water formed in front of the train as a result of the water pumped out of the mine. Several lumps of coal were kept on top of the engine to ensure there was enough steam for the long return journey to the washing floors.
There were sidings at both Engine and Welsh shafts where the kibbles could be tipped into the trucks and these would also serve as passing points for the trains.