A fascinating industrial relic with a mysterious background is now on display.

Operating for almost a century, Horwich Locomotive Works was well known for building and working on trains.

However, a complex relic which has recently been recovered could provide evidence that the works made more than just locomotives.

The relic in question is a gyroscope, which had sat being used as a coffee table in someone's home for decades.

The Bolton News: How the group received itHow the group received it (Image: Horwich Heritage)

Now, the gyroscope has been given to local interest group Horwich Heritage, who put it on display from the end of October.

They believe it was used to judge the camber of train tracks.

Roy Davies, of Horwich Heritage, said: "It was found in a laboratory on the works, it was in a box in one of the cupboards. The guy who rescued it used to be a teacher there.

"The building was in a poor condition so he went in and rescued it, he wanted to keep it safe - two weeks later it burnt down.

"He had kept it at home for 40 years, using it as a coffee table, then decided to hand it over to Horwich Heritage."

The Bolton News: Work in progressWork in progress (Image: Horwich Heritage)

He added: "There is a metal plate on it that says 'Made on Horwich Works' and the fact that there are no serial numbers on any of the parts suggest this could be true.

"Usually there are serial numbers, but the fact that there isn't one suggests it could have been handmade as a one-off.

"The whole thing had to be stripped down to as many parts as I could - there was one mechanism which revolves, I couldn't strip that down so had to go to another company to do that, but the rest was stripped by me."

Roy then put it back together and polished it up, ready for the exhibition.

The Bolton News: The finished articleThe finished article (Image: Horwich Heritage)

He said: "The exhibition is for the 40th anniversary of the works closing. We will have an awful lot of pictures on display, memorabilia from the works and lots of newspaper cuttings.

"We are just putting it together now. There are lots of people who are still around from the time and that makes it more interesting, when people come in and say 'I was there'."

The exhibition is running now until January. For more information, visit: https://www.horwichheritage.co.uk/

Horwich Heritage welcome any information that anyone may have regarding the gyroscope.