A weigh bridge which lay buried beneath a footpath for over 50 years in Killashee has been restored to her former glory, the Leader has learned.
The weighing equipment - which was manufactured by Pooley & Son Ltd in 1850 - was removed, sandblasted and repainted, and has now taken pride of place in the heart of the south Longford village for everyone to admire. Plans are in place to erect a plaque with relevant information in relation to the find and the community hopes that this little piece of history might just serve as a tourist attraction in the months and years ahead.
Local men Dan Magan and George McDermott set to work when the bridge was discovered a couple of months back. “The last time it was used may have been around 1950,” Mr Magan told the Leader. He recalled his own father and mother talking about the weigh bridge down through the years, but he had never actually seen it until it was unearthed during infrastructural works in Killashee last September. “When we were very young we would see the edge of it sticking out, but it had been buried underground for a long time. When we found it, myself and George McDermott did a bit of restorative work on it and now it has been placed back on the footpath where everyone can see it.”
Weigh bridges were used to weigh cattle, grain and turf back in the day. They were made by Henry Pooley & Son Ltd of Birmingham, London and Liverpool. Pooley was a firm of mechanical engineers, founded in Liverpool in the 18th century and the company began to make platform scales around 1835. “The weigh bridge here in Killashee is in near perfect condition now,” Mr Magan continued. “They were located at Railway stations, outside hardware stores and at points convenient for farmers; at one point the equipment won a prestigious competition at an agricultural show and it was after that, then that it became part of the agri industry. Older people would remember it more than young people because it is 50 or 60 years ago since it was last used.”
Most of the railway companies in the world now use Pooley weighing equipment, as do many industrial facilities. Pooley & Son Ltd was responsible for supplying and maintaining the weights and scales of many railway companies and nine-tenths of the railway traffic of Great Britain is today weighed over Pooley weighing machines. The company’s equipment ensured suitability, accuracy, reliability and durability, thus the reason for lasting the test of time!