The UK's last aerial ropeway uses no power, moves 300 tonnes a day, and will be gone by 2036.
In Claughton, Lancashire, the Forterra brickworks produces 50 million bricks a year, from shale that's quarried a mile and a half away. To get that shale to the brickworks: the last aerial ropeway in the country. These used to be common: but now, the last one will be gone by 2036.

Thanks to all the team at Forterra:
Thanks to Dave Martin for the idea!

Edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin)

Filmed safely:

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  • Tom Scott
    Tom Scott

    It'd have been an obvious choice to put a camera on a bucket. And I did! But as you can see from the video, we were battling intermittent rainstorms all day, and unfortunately the shots didn't work here. However, I hope you'll enjoy next week's 18-minute-long video, "An Unedited, Rain-Soaked Ride on Claughton's Aerial Ropeway".

    • Y2 Krashman
      Y2 Krashman

      In Australia, they use driverless trucks and have been doing so for nearly a decade!

    • milk Official
      milk Official

      Lets gooooo British weather

    • Barry Wilson
      Barry Wilson

      @MrKnocik we used to ride the buckets at a local pit, (Wombwell Main) when we were kids and jump off at the tipping point at the top of the slag heap. Great fun but bloody daft and dangerous!

    • Esteban Mainardi
      Esteban Mainardi

      Tom Scott is to planet Earth what FitMC is to 2B2T.

    • Andrew Dobbs
      Andrew Dobbs

      i love you Tom

  • John Johnson
    John Johnson

    Bit of a sad story- but hopefully an enthusiasts charitable trust be formed around this for education & maintenance.

  • Anony Mouse
    Anony Mouse

    Great video, Tom

  • Mike

    Gravity my ass that thing was going straight up.

  • Paranormal

    Umm. This doesn't matter. It's great that it doesn't create pollution, however in the grand scheme of things, this is irrelevant. There are countries out there with 100 times your population that don't give a crap. When I see a video on how you've convinced them to care about pollution, I will listen. It just doesn't matter. Good on them, but we'll add that handful of sand to the sand box. Plus, most people watch this irrelevant stuff thinking it'll all get better are really just self servicing themselves. The only people that give two shits about the environment are the citizens, don't believe the governments, that's just the cheerleaders, find the real people in control. That felt good to get off my chest, and I think it's probably fairly accurate. I'm and american conservative btw. See. Who's really in control? I've had a few beers too. Jbh.

  • Penzija Mirovinić
    Penzija Mirovinić

    I don't know what bookies are doing at the quarry but they are doing great job.

  • Pandaa lp
    Pandaa lp

    ;P servus

  • Bulle Beck
    Bulle Beck

    the bookett

  • John Griffin
    John Griffin

    I watched this last week not knowing where it was so imagine my excitement goingto my holiday in Kirkby Lonsdale when we drove under the ropeway. Thanks, I would never given this a second thought without your video

  • Crispy and Spicy
    Crispy and Spicy

    Maybe at the end of its life someone will convert it into a theme park ride. There's probably some people who would find the act of going downhill on a bucket on a rope thrilling

  • Anymal104

    The only thing I could imagine it turn into is a skilift attraction, maybe with a themepark at both ends? But then you likely have to ajust the towers and cable to handle that much load. Also the themeparks would maybe in the middle of nowhere, not making it easy to attract people.

  • Hex Diagonal
    Hex Diagonal

    Do you think that they will let the end stations keep standing and maybe some of the cars nailed to the load and off load ramp for tourist attraction?

    • Hex Diagonal
      Hex Diagonal

      @norbertdx Yes I know, and that was NOT my question. It was 2 buildings at each end of the line will they remain, as a hiking track, so you hike from one to the other, and then leave some of the karts beside dem, you could put tem 30cm off the ground with a 150cm pole to surspend them, yes you could use is as a swing. COMMON @norbertdx, as a family hike to the top of the hill and to see the system where they park the carts off the line and put them on again. YES take down the towers... SIGHT!

    • norbertdx

      Now you know some knucklehead will try to climb the tower claiming to have a right to an adventure, disgrace it with graffiti.

  • Alex

    I drove past this today haha, didn't realise it was the only one

  • ACO productions, AKA TSAR
    ACO productions, AKA TSAR


  • Space man
    Space man

    Martin you could’ve spoken a little louder!

  • Matthew James Montgomery
    Matthew James Montgomery

    Shale. Is there oil in it? New business model for the future.

  • raven P
    raven P

    This is actually what we need for rural areas throughout the world. Even as urban as Alaska has gotten compared to our old days, the cost of shipping cars and starting the investment for transport was still backbreaking and we still struggle with their safe storage along the coastlines. Whereas a set of windmills that were stopped 40 years ago still stand tall and solid with only the complicated moving parts damaged

  • KraliMishev

    Every Englishman past 50 sounds like a professional football caster.

  • Scorpion


  • Blubbel Nator
    Blubbel Nator

    Am I the only one who really loves the dialect?

  • Simon Watson
    Simon Watson

    Such a shame it could be repurposed in some way !

  • Zach

    There you go ISdowns ive watched the video you can stop recommending it to me now!

  • Expired

    I used to drive under that almost everyday, weird to see Tom making a video about a place I used to go so commonly. I never knew any of this about it though, great video Scott!

  • Nacho Cheese
    Nacho Cheese

    Who else wants to go hide in a bucket and enjoy the ride

  • RyRy Wags
    RyRy Wags

    That's so neat to see! Sad that in time it will be taken down.

  • Max Caulfield
    Max Caulfield

    who's watching it in 2036

  • The Russian Mafia
    The Russian Mafia

    I bloody live half an hour from there. Last thing I expected to see on ISdowns

  • Jock McBile
    Jock McBile

    Cool. I like the quirky different stories. I hope they keep the wall, sign and bucket you were standing in front of. That way the rest can be taken down, but there's something standing to tell show what was there.

  • Cthulhu


  • Peter McFadden
    Peter McFadden

    Great report, very interesting.

  • 123TeeMee

    Disappointed the phrase “kick the bucket” wasn’t used

  • Akbar Sayed
    Akbar Sayed


  • Ava

    ~We flew a kite in a public place -Tom Scott, 2020


    I live near this amd drive past it frequently.

  • SuicideBunny6

    Does that mean the aerial ropeway will … kick the bucket too?

  • TheMightyKinkle

    How do you restart it if it stops?

  • Geoffrey Lee
    Geoffrey Lee

    Interesting cableway.

  • Geoffrey Lee
    Geoffrey Lee

    Shale is a rock …

  • Killer Wolf
    Killer Wolf

    Right now this video has 2,794,507 views

  • E


  • csil

    How much is their gravity bill?

  • Luke_CO

    I think I've never heard the word "bucket" being said so many times in my previous life as I did during this video

  • Barney The purple dinosaur with Internet access
    Barney The purple dinosaur with Internet access

    They should make a museum about this when it’s time to take it down

  • Kobizarre

    I was gonna say its not the last one bc there's one near where I live, and then I realised that the video is that ropeway lmao.

  • Francis 11
    Francis 11

    Perpetual motion doesn’t exists! I get that when it goes downhill it doesn’t use fuel but what about uphill?

    • Foggy Nerd
      Foggy Nerd

      The buckets latch onto the rope. Downhill buckets are heavier and their weight keeps the rope moving. I would like to see a closeup of the latching mechanism.

  • Daxxon Jabiru
    Daxxon Jabiru

    I want a ride.

  • Michael Ciotta
    Michael Ciotta

    I bet people would pay money to ride it back and forth lmfao.

    • Jupiter Jaeden
      Jupiter Jaeden

      You could only ride it one way, it’s gravity operated so the returning buckets have to be lighter than the arriving ones.

  • hellodavey1902


  • mllop aeet
    mllop aeet

    Soooooo turn into a tourist attraction. This whole video ive been thinking “I soooo wanna ride in those buckets”. Bucket ride Nature tours

  • WZPlasticBling

    Can you answer why humans fear death?

  • chru cas
    chru cas

    👍👌👏 Simply fantastic! Nowadays unfortunately trucks everywhere. Not even the railway is used properly.

  • Erez Ben Lulu
    Erez Ben Lulu

    RemindMe! 15 years

  • AndyfromWrexham

    Places like this should be preserved forever. I'd pay for a ride in the bucket.

  • Macht

    Love this booket content

  • Bean

    Why doesn't it use any power? I don't get it.

  • Johan Bruintjes
    Johan Bruintjes

    Because it is so old and Unique isnt possible to make it part of british national heritage or even list it for Unesco?

  • Barath Raj
    Barath Raj

    I guess you could say..the ropeway is gonna kick the bucket in 2036! I'm sorry, I'll leave

  • jacklikesjuggling

    I don't understand how the empty bins come back uphill without power. Is the potential energy of the full bins somehow being converted into driving them back up?

  • OctoNova


  • Ian Wright
    Ian Wright

    There's one in the Pyrénées that generates electricity from the weight of the rock going down.

  • Blackrepublicanusa

    Brilliant, simply brilliant

  • Kilo Meter
    Kilo Meter

    Because it doesn’t use anything it doesn’t make anyone any money that’s why they are changing it.

  • notyours

    This was a super feel good video and I couldn't tell you why

  • PoshMurder

    Honestly you're probably my favourite ISdownsr. I was born here in SW London, going to be 33 next month, and I'm still learning a LOT about the country I love - all through your videos! I hope you have all your videos backed up, in case ISdowns ever has issues in the future, so we can put them in an archive!

  • Lost Space
    Lost Space

    Bruv explain how it works with a Diagram or something. The gravity of the weight going down pulls the lighter empty bucket up? With breaks on?

  • swer

    i wouldve loved a more in depth explanation on how this thing works, it makes absolutely no sense to me

    • chooch1995

      The raw material comes from up above, a quarried hilltop. It’s sent downhill to the brick factory via the rope way. Gravity. The weight of the loaded buckets on the down side pull the empty buckets back up the hill...are you following? Pick something up...drop it. It went down. Gravity!

  • Graysonkhaskins 3
    Graysonkhaskins 3

    Hi Tom I was wondering if u could do a vid about how some people Do and Dont have a voice inside of there brain and some people just see pictures? I dont know if this fits with your channel but you explain stuff well so thanks if you do :)

  • ProtoBoi5

    We need more instead of less of these

  • Lydia


    • Ethan Bennett
      Ethan Bennett

      the many accents of northern england are one of a kind

  • Sam Cyanide
    Sam Cyanide

    nice hole

  • Mia Petersen
    Mia Petersen

    I wonder if it could become some kind of live museum the day that the mine closes

  • lyricalcarpenter

    how do the empty buckets go back up the line?

  • My_Name_Is_ Chef
    My_Name_Is_ Chef

    Seems like you shouldn’t change it. Just add another one

  • Your Dad
    Your Dad

    if this thing can run with just gravity why aren't there more of them? It seems strange to go out of your way to construct underground conveyor belts or use trucks to haul shale for anything other than a special scenario where one of these wouldn't be viable. Is it just because they take too much skill to operate or something? Or does it have to do with maybe the ropes being too expensive and/or time consuming to replace every few years?

  • Ludovic Douay
    Ludovic Douay

    I just realized how ski lift were invented

  • Justin Erickson
    Justin Erickson

    Why would they engineer something that requires less energy if they aren't getting subsidies for it? I'm confused. Politicians and professors and Greta have made me believe that humans won't do good and smart things unless they are forced and incentivized to comply with politicians, professors, and Greta.

  • Peter Müller
    Peter Müller

    This is truly environmental friendly. stupid to close it down.

    • Ethan Bennett
      Ethan Bennett

      that isn't why they're closing it down

  • Naidu VGA
    Naidu VGA

    this is the most basic difference between modern and ancient methods of doing many things. the reason for our dumping the old ones and always coming up with even the most absurd ways is simply on an economic scale. if it dont fit in it goes out, even if it is the best one

  • NoClassic

    so if it has brakes it could be making power as well?


    Sometimes i watch your video even i don't understand it

  • Waterbird 4222
    Waterbird 4222

    Very Cool

  • Deepa Rana
    Deepa Rana

    in nepal still in rural areas its normal to have this ropeway

  • deDatdus

    I has boohket

  • Mark Shenton
    Mark Shenton

    Weird, I drove past this yesterday and wondered what it was for, today, it was on my home page to watch. At least I now know what it is.

  • Philippe Larcher
    Philippe Larcher

    How does it grab the cable? Just friction from weight? No pinching?

  • Celtic2Realms

    Very good

  • Chicken yes
    Chicken yes

    Someone please put gropro on that bucket

  • Dylan BB
    Dylan BB

    Tom is such a classic ISdowns channel

  • Matthew Harvey
    Matthew Harvey

    wait.. lets go back to the point where it uses Gravity to power this thing....

  • extonville

    It’s pronounced Claw tun. Not Claff tun

  • Sky Luke
    Sky Luke

    This would be the dopest ride ever!

  • Nico Kelly
    Nico Kelly

    This is so cool, you always find the good ones.

  • C Teal
    C Teal

    Our forefathers were in someways sooo much smarter than we are.

  • Tomsouz17

    Idk how hard itd be but just one segment of the towers with 2 carts to show how it used to be would be nice to keep for the years

  • Remo Peter
    Remo Peter

    If it has a Transport Heritage Site plaque, why isn't that a guarantee that it will be preserved and maintained as a museum piece?

  • Emily An
    Emily An

    Ropeway - most energy efficient transport available until now.

    • David Dou
      David Dou

      Not when you need an engine because it is transporting material uphill.

  • JosiexJosie

    Wow, something reducing our impact on the climate? Good thing we don’t use those anymore.

  • mal x
    mal x

    How tf are tou going to improve on that

    • Emily An
      Emily An


  • Poggy

    So this is why the earth keeps slowing down. They're stealing all the gravity. Good. Shut it down.

  • Pedro Folloni Pesserl
    Pedro Folloni Pesserl

    sorry if I'm being stupid, how do the empty buckets come back to the top if there's no energy?

    • David Dou
      David Dou

      You are being stupid, go back watch and listen.