12 Chapel Road, Weldon, Corby, Northants NN17 3HP
This giant machine, the biggest of its kind in the world, was used by Stewarts and Lloyds in the ironstone quarries around Weldon, Great Oakley and Corby.
The giant W1400 walking dragline named Sundew after the 1957 Grand National Winner was originally commissioned in 1947. It was initially used in Rutland from the 1950’s, but in 1974 was walked to Corby across ten roads, a railway line, three water mains, two gas mains and a river that was back filled to support the giant before being re-dredged.
it weighed 1600 tons, and in its working position the head of the jib was 175 feet above the ground – 5 feet higher than Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square. It had a dumping radius of 260 feet, and when slewing, the head of the jib reached a speed of nearly 23 mph. The bucket, which weighed 22 tons cleared about 27 tons per scoop. Swinging the bucket to its emptying point and returning to its digging position took about 60 seconds, meaning that the familiar monster could clear its own weight of 1600 tons every hour. Moveable feet could be used to “walk” the dragline forwards and backwards at around 1 mile every 10 hours, while directional control was provided by a large circular turntable under the giant’s body.
The epic journey to Corby in 1974 took 9 weeks over the 13 miles from Exton Park and was documented in a book called ‘The Great Walk’. The giant was bigger than anything of its kind and yet was the only way of dealing with the problem of deep overburden land around Corby. The familiar giant became a treasured part of Corby’s history and folklore at a time of great excitement, growth and new prosperity for the town. On July 4, 1980, Sundew walked to its final resting place and the huge boom was lowered onto a purpose built earth mound, before finally being dismantled for recycling in 1987. A bucket from a W1400 still exists as an exhibit in East Carlton Park and a cab still graces the Rutland Railway Museum in Cottesmore.
Our beer is named after the giant Dragline. It is brewed with passion, pride and great care using the finest possible ingredients including specially imported Slovenian and American hops and the best of malted barleys from England. Unlike many other beers it is matured gently until it has developed its optimum flavour and is served fresh, only at the Shoulder of Mutton. Our unique mix of ingredients produces a unique beer, light and easy drinking yet with a fresh hoppy, citrus aftertaste – we encourage sensible drinking, but one is rarely enough! We hope you enjoy our Dragline – a great local beer in memory of a great local landmark.