South Crofty Robinsons Shaft 4: This page focuses on the Robinson’s Shaft Winders. All the images on this page were taken while the site was still managed by South Crofty Mine.
The Winder House was constructed during 1964 to house the new electric winder which replaced the original steam winder. This building was badly damaged by fire in June 1998. The roof was totally destroyed and the winder sat for many years with only a tarpaulin for protection against the weather.
Luckily I managed to get these images before South Crofty vacated the site.
The second of the Robinson’s Shaft Winders is the Capstan Engine. Often called a Crab Winch due to the drive being at right angles to the cylinders. This was used for pitwork maintenance in the shaft and for the raising and lowering of heavy machinery.
Originally powered by steam it was converted to compressed air when the new electric winder was installed. Built by Harvey and Co of Hayle during 1882 it is a rare survival being only one of two left in Cornwall.
The flywheel was known as a Banana wheel due to the curved spokes within the rim.
Both of the Robinsons Shaft Winders are now preserved by Heartlands, the electric winder house has been re-roofed, however the winder itself has received little attention.
The crab winch has been preserved in situ. However I was disappointed on my visit to Heartlands as this wonderful piece of machinery was difficult to find.Tucked away in the dark and no explanations of its heritage or use.