Whilst researching Smallbridge during
2015, John Cowlin from Mount Bures informed there were lenghts of
railway track lying abandoned not far from the Hall.
He beleived them to be associated with a light rail track that ran
from Wormingford Lock to the Hall, which may have been used for
the transportation of goods.
Naturally, my first task was to visit the site and try and locate
Walking away from Smallbridge towards
Little Mill Cott along a public footpath, amazingly I located two
sections of light rail track lying abandoned in the grass.
What purpose did they serve ?
These couldn`t have been made locally by a blacksmith with a hammer
and anvil, the profile was far too complicated so they must have
This extract of text taken from the Suffolk Mills web site on the
Smallbridge WaterMill reveals all:-
Haystacks were transported on bogie wheels about the farmyard,
and pushed on rails into the dutch barn adjoining the west wall
of the mill, from which the sheaves would be loaded into the drum
through the small door over the wheel.
Like most doors in the mill, this slides on ten-inch bogie wheels
by means of small iron rails which are fixed to the side of the
These abandoned tracks, were more
than likely those described in this text
(a) a local archivist has suggested these tracks may well have originated
from disused tramways that were once in Colchester and Ipswich
(b) searching the internet I can find no images or reference to
Haystacks being transported on rails - was this unique to Smallbridge
Heather Hargrove, Smallbridge
John Cowlin who worked for Churchs at Arger Fen
Jim Lunn, River Stour Trust, achivist.