In a previous post I mentioned that a small group of us at primary school would wander along Lockoford Lane to the Chesterfield Canal. Sometimes we turned right and went along the canal tow path to Chesterfield. Sometimes we went up the hill to the bridge over the Midland Railway. Often though, we would turn left along the canal tow path in the direction of Brimington. The canal was overgrown, silted up and the water a dirty yellow. And the smell! We would pass Sheepbridge Sidings on the Great Central Railway which provided rail connections to Sheepbridge Iron Works, the BTH factory and Pearson's Pottery. Then we would come upon the Three Bridges. The bridges took the Midland railway route to Sheffield over the canal, the Great Central and the steeply inclined line from Sheepbridge Sidings to Sheepbridge works.
We lingered here often to watch the trains and placed pennies on the line to be quashed by passing trains. Then we would continue along the canal, passing under the 'Old Route' of the Midland Railway to Rotherham. The tow path was almost impenetrable as we headed towards Brimington Station (closed and used as a builder's yard). On the right stood Wheeldon Mill, a dog track which had seen better days.
At Brimington Station we left the canal, took to the bridge over the Great Central Railway and headed for Whittington Moor. Out route took us under the two Midland Railway lines (to Rotherham and Sheffield) and, sandwiched between the two the line from Sheepbridge Sidings.
Then it was a short walk to Pearson's Pottery, wreathed in grey dust, to Sheffield Road. Before long we were back at Lockoford Lane. We would have been out for three or four hours. Can you imagine children being permitted to do the same today?