Masson Mills Boilers
Masson Mills Boilers

The Boiler House was constructed c. 1908 to house the two Yates & Thom Lancashire boilers along with the associated coal hopper chutes. The boilers produced steam to drive the steam engine up until 1933, when it was replaced by a steam turbine.

Up until 1953 the boilers were coal-fired. In 1953 the two further boilers were installed. These are German egg-ended Lancashire boilers which were oil-fired and represented the pinnacle of Lancashire boiler design, allowing a much higher working pressure. The two Yates & Thom boilers were converted to oil storage tanks. In 1987 a new package boiler running on mains gas was installed in another part of the mill and the old boiler house was closed.

Out of view behind the boilers are “economisers” which, in the days of coal firing, used the waste gases to pre-heat the water entering the boilers. It was calculated that each degree that the water was pre-heated saved one ton of coal per week, hence the name “economiser”.

Once a year workmen called “fluers” would have to crawl into the boilers to carry out descaling and “fluing” (ash removal) during holiday “shutdown” periods. The entrance to the economiser tunnels is behind the very large red steel door outside. The economiser tunnel and flue lead to the very centre of the base was affectionately known as the “hell hole”.