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Dog Spike

The object shown was found last week in some ground disturbed by an animal digging. It is a “dog spike”, was used to fasten railway track to wooden sleepers (as illustrated), especially with light railways. It has a pointed penetrating head with a square shank, and the underside of the spike head is sloped to compromise the top of the rail base. The rail (or “plate holding”) head has two lugs on either side, giving the impression of a dog’s head and aiding spike removal.
It was found where the red “star” is on the map (a location that also has some old sleepers lying around). This is the old track bed for the now lifted line from Eythorne to Guilford Colliery. It ran south from Eythorne before curving east to the colliery site on the edge of Waldershare Park. Despite a full set of colliery buildings being provided and three shafts started, the whole colliery was abandoned by its French owners in 1922 before it produced any coal. A section of the branch near the junction was used for stabling empty wagons before the track was lifted in 1937, and this section was re-laid in the Second World War as a place for stabling rolling stock (of undefined type).

Vince Croud

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