Heading out - Peckett 2103
This locomotive was obtained for the Middleton Railway through the generosity of Tony and Joyce Bell at a time when the Middleton Railway was facing a potential motive power crisis.
It arrived on the Railway in 1981 from Croydon B Power station where it had spent its working life since delivery from its makers in 1950. By the time the locomotive it arrived on the Middleton Railway the crisis had been averted and it was not immediately required.
P2103 went to the Great Yorkshire Railway Preservation Society near Harrogate in 1986 then moved to Murton on the Derwent Valley Light railway in 1989 before returning to the Middleton Railway in 1996.
Following overhaul, fitting with vacuum brakes and repainting in its original livery it entered service and ran for several years before being stopped for a second overhaul. Unfortunately as the nature of the traffic on the Middleton Railway changed and longer trains became the norm it was too small for regular service on the steeply graded line Park Halt and so its overhaul was continually deferred.
With the support of Tony and Joyce Bell, who remained owners of the locomotive whilst based on the Middleton Railway, it has now transferred to new owner based at the Ribble Valley Railway near Preston where it is hoped it will soon be bought back into working order.
Coming in - Hawarden
This locomotive was built by Hudswell Clarke and Co in Leeds in 1899 for John Summers Globe Iron Works at Stalybridge and spent its entire working life at the Iron Works in the company of several similar locomotives.
It was withdrawn from service in the early 1960s and through the generosity of the Summers family, who were noted railway enthusiasts, was donated to the National Trust’s Penrhyn Castle Museum in 1964 where it joined a collection of other largely Victorian era industrial locomotives.
‘Hawarden’ was cosmetically restored at John Summers Hawarden Bridge Steelworks before delivery to Penrhyn Castle and remains in its 1964 condition. Following a change in policy by the National Trust in the early 2020’s title to the locomotive was transferred to the Bahamas Locomotive Society who had enjoyed a long partnership with the National Trust as the custodians of the London & North Western Railway Webb Coal Tank – now also owned by the Society.
They in turn have kindly placed the ‘Hawarden’ on loan to the Middleton Railway for a three year period after which time title will be transferred to the Middleton Railway.
The locomotive is an excellent example of mid to late Victorian industrial locomotive design and in conjunction with the other Hudswell Clarke built locomotives in the Middleton Railway’s collection, notably ‘Henri de Laci II’ which was built in 1917 and ‘Mirvale’ which was built in 1955, shows how the design changed as engineering techniques developed and expectations regarding factors such as crew comfort and operability altered.
It will be on display, after some minor cosmetic work, in the Trust’s Display hall when the Middleton Railway reopens on the 30th March 2024.
In parallel with the move of ‘Hawarden’, the Bahamas Locomotive Society also took title to another engine from the former collection at Penrhyn Castle. This locomotive was called ‘Vesta’ and is very similar to ‘No. 67’ in the Middleton Railway’s collection; better known as ‘Daddy’s Engine’ for its staring role in ‘The Railway Children’. ‘Vesta’ has moved to the East Lancs Railway based in Bury.