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Hunslet No.2387 ‘Brookes No 1’

Built Weight Length Status Wheel
1941, Leeds
27 tons 18 cwt
24' 1" (7.3m)

Built in 1941 Brookes No.1 was the last Hunslet 14″ saddle tank built and is the only survivor of the class. Its design is that of a typical post World War One Hunslet design and as such is an important part of the railways collection. 

It was supplied to the Brookes Chemicals Ltd upon completion to work their factory sidings in Lightcliffe near Halifax. It worked alongside two Peckett built locomotives of similar size. The three locomotives were kept in excellent condition with light use. Each locomotive was generally used for three months before being sheeted up and stored for six months. 

Following the closure of the factory in 1969 all three locomotives were put up for auction. The two Pecketts were sold for scrap whilst Brookes No.1 was purchased by Phillips Electrical & associated Industries Ltd who had purchased the old factory site and wanted to display it on the site. After two years storage it was sold it to a private individual who took it to the former Delph station near Oldham where it was steamed occasionally.

In March 1983 it was purchased the Peak Railway Society where it was subsequently moved to become their first operational steam locomotive. It remained in regular service until 1985 when it was dismantled for overhaul. Having recognised it was  too small for the line it was put up for sale in 1991 and was purchased by Middleton member David Monckton. Following arrival it was cosmetically restored awaiting overhaul. In 1995 the extensive overhaul began which included the construction of a new boiler. 

Brookes No.1 returned to service in 1999 but featured side tanks and a blue paint scheme as a licensed ‘Thomas’. In this guise it travelled around many heritage railways appearing at events until 2007. During this time it had earnt enough to cover the cost of its purchase and new boiler. In 2007 it was converted back to its original saddle tank form for the final couple of years of its boiler ticket. 

Following a successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid a thorough overhaul was commenced in 2013 and completed in 2017. It remains part of the operational steam fleet.