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Edward Sissons engine tenter at the Park Pit was charged by Mr. Wells of neglecting rules 51 and 52 of the pit. When any of the men required to be let down the shaft the engine tenter should put the hold on this has the effect of steadying the corves before arriving at the bottom. On this occasion he failed to do so and the parties in the shaft were severely injured. The defendant said the gearing was not in proper order and any blame should rest on the enginewright. Fined 12/- and costs.


Hello Carol
Thanks for your enquiry about the occupation described as "Engine Tenter". This term appears mainly in the north of England or in Scotland . In this context a Tenter is someone who is in charge of machinery, usually in a factory. The word is closely related to the word "tend" so he is someone who "tends, or looks after” the engine.

Those on my website were on the 1881 Census, and in those days factories usually had one big steam engine which drove a series of pulleys with belts to run various small machines such as lathes or spinning machines. Incidentally a "Tenter" (without the engine) could be a person who worked in the cloth-making industry, and stretched the wet new cloth out in the open air to dry. The cloth was suspended on tenterhooks.

Fred Jackson


TENTER Someone who looked after something e.g. furnace tenter, door tenter and pony tenter.


March 27th 1852
Engine tenter wanted, accustomed to work a winding colliery engine may meet with employment on application to Spurr and Hunter Barnes colliery Stubley.


An engine tenter was a winding engineman or it was in North Staffordshire.
Frank Moran


Pit Terminology - Glossary