Interpreting Bridgetown-Greenbushes to Visitors and the Community - Sharing our Stories

Published on Tuesday, 26 March 2024 at 12:15:02 PM

Bridgetown Railway Platform Scales Return Home

With the upcoming inauguration of our lovely Railway Station as the Bridgetown-Greenbushes Visitor Centre, some railway paraphernalia is moving from the Bridgetown Historical Society to the station. Among these, our favourite is the original platform scale.

The scale, on loan from the Bridgetown Historical Society, was originally donated by D. Wheatley to the Historical Society, and it will be placed in its original spot on the station platform. After years of separation, the scale is returning to its original home!

What is a platform scale? As its name aptly describes, it is a scale that lives on the station platform. Its purpose was to ensure trains were not overloaded and to calculate transport charges for both luggage and parcels. Along with passengers, their luggage and postal services, the trains transported goods, such as apples and other local produce to the cities, thus, the weight needed to be monitored. In other words, the scale worked as a deterrent for the public from carrying too heavy weights.

What is special about our scale? First, its age and connection to the history of our town and area. Additionally, its make and origin link it to key agents and locations within history, particularly the industrial revolution. Our platform scale is a piece of history not only due to its age, but its provenance. Ours is an Avery scale, a British company that can be traced back to 1730 and that became a staple of the industrial revolution. Moreover, to add to its historical pedigree, at the end of the 19th century the company moved to the Soho Foundry, a site of key relevance in the history of the industrial revolution. The Soho Foundry was the site founded by Boulton and Watts to build steam engines. So, our scale was likely built in the same foundry as the very piece of machinery that drove the industrial revolution.

The Railway Station will be open to the public soon and you will be able to visit our lovely platform scale. When you do, remember that you are in front of a piece of history, linked to the development of the industrial revolution, not only because of its make, but also because where it was built. And it made it all the way to our lovely little town (most likely) more than 100 years ago.


Avery Railway Scale
Accession Number: 87:10 a-e. Bridgetown Historical Society

The Soho Foundry. Birmingham, England

Back to All News

If you've encountered a problem with the website or have any general feedback, please provide comment via this form.

This form is for website feedback only, if you have a question or would like a response to your feedback, please submit a Customer Service Request by clicking here.

Was this page helpful?