Railways of Stoke-on-Trent - Potteries Loop Line


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Potteries Loop Line

next: Hanley Station
Waterloo Road Station
[contents: Waterloo Road, Hanley, Shelton, Etruria]

Century Street area

The route of the loop line is nowadays difficult to follow - there is a short walkway from Waterloo Road which shows the path of the mineral line.

the area in 2008, the loop line ran alongside Winifred and Chelwood Street, most of it is now lost. The green rectangle shows what was part of Century Oils and is now being developed for shopping and leisure activities.

The blue rectangle shows the present site of Fuchs Lubricants (was Walker Century Oils) - the route of the line is mostly lost under their car park.


Century Street area on the Loop Line - 1898
Century Street area on the Loop Line - 1898
The light blue shapes show the location of Waterloo Road and Hanley stations.

The green line is Century Street and the purple line is the remains of the route of a mineral line which took coal from Hanley deep pit to the coking ovens at Shelton Iron & Steel Works.

Century Street & the loop line

Originally called Brook Street......

Because of the fact that the six towns had grown up independently there had been duplication of many street names which led to confusion as people started to move more freely around the city. For example there were 7 'Albert Streets', 11 'Church Street's' and 12 'High Street's'.

In the early 1950's a large number of streets were renamed and Brook Street was renamed as Century Street.

the bridge carried the railway track of the Potteries Loop Line 
the bridge carried the railway track of the Potteries Loop Line 
Brook Street (now Century Street) around 1890

Brook Street was crossed by two railway lines - the main main North Staffs Railway 'Potteries Loop Line' and a mineral railway line which ran to a coal wharf on Waterloo Road and also to Burslem.
To the right of Brook Street was Walkers Century Oil works

This bridge over Brook Street was (at over 46 feet) the largest on the loop line.


Century Street - 2000
Century Street - 2000
At the time of this photo the bridge over the road was a connecting path between the Century Oils manufacturing sites on either side of Century Street.
In the background the Potteries Shopping Centre and the tower of St. John's Church.

Century Street & the mineral line

junction of Eastbank Road and Century Street
to the left is where the Mineral Line railway ran which took coal from Hanley Deep Pit to Granville's Iron Works


Playground where the Mineral Line railway track ran

on the opposite side of Century Street to the playground the signs of the mineral line can be made out


two pictures on the wall behind the play area - depicting the mineral line carrying coal and on the top picture a montage of the present day Potteries Shopping Centre and the smoke from the Brook Street bottle kilns (which closed around 1947).

Century Street and Walkers Oil

Century Oils first opened their doors as Walker Brothers Oil more than 125 years ago.
The Century name was adopted in 1900 (hence the change of the street name to Century Street). Though initial production was directed towards consumers, emphasis soon shifted to industrial lubrication. From the beginning, the company was recognized as a high technology company, introducing state of the art products for extended life wagon wheel lubrication and industrial machinery lubrication.
Later, when internal combustion engines, automobiles and aircraft became facts of life, innovations progressed with the introduction of superior motor oils, lubricating greases, metalworking fluids and fire resistant hydraulic fluids.
In 1992, Century was acquired by the Fuchs Group.


Century Oils developed from a partnership founded in Stoke-on-Trent in 1874 the brothers William and John Walker.

The genesis of the Walker business came from the discovery of commercially exploitable deposits of crude oil in the seams of a local colliery. The Walker Brothers distilled crude oil at a refinery built at Cobridge.

The Century Oil Works was located the heart of the potteries where an abundant supply of of coke and coal was required to fire the kilns, and much coal tar was available for processing. Walker's produced a range of products including axle grease, engine oil, paraffin, lamp oil and candles. Their tar wagons would have commonly been seen in local goods trains on the Potteries Loop Line of the NSR.



next: Hanley Station
Waterloo Road Station
[contents: Waterloo Road, Hanley, Shelton, Etruria]