The Middleton Railway took delivery of a 125 year old Leeds built steam locomotive on 26 January.
‘Hawarden’ was built in 1899 as works number 526 by the famous firm of Hudswell Clarke and Company of Hunslet and is a classic example of a late Victorian steam locomotive.
It will join two other later built saddletank locomotives from the same manufacturer to tell the story of this type of locomotive’s development.
‘Hawarden’ spent its working life at the John Summers Globe Ironworks in Stalybridge, Lancashire. It was saved from scrapping through the generosity of the Summers Family and after restoration passed into the care of the National Trust’s railway museum at Penrhyn Castle, North Wales.
Following a change in policy by the National Trust, the locomotive passed into the ownership of the Bahamas Locomotive society, based at Ingrow on the Worth Valley.
The National Trust has had a long and successful partnership with the Bahamas Locomotive society.
Middleton Railway Chairman, Charles Milner said:
“The Middleton Railway is very grateful for the generosity and kindness shown by the BLS by placing ‘Hawarden’ on loan to us.
“Visitors will be able to see the locomotive on display when the railway reopens in April 2024.”
BLS Chairman, Keith Whitmore said:
“We have worked with the National Trust since 1973 when LNWR Coal Tank Locomotive 1054 moved from Penrhyn Castle to our custodianship firstly at the Dinting Railway Centre near Glossop and now in our museum at Ingrow on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.
“We have been working with the trust for the last few years following their decision to reinterpret the story of railways at the Castle to solely tell the story of the Penrhyn Quarry Railway there, which meant that a number of objects there including locomotives became surplus to their requirements.
“We are honoured that in addition to the gifting of 1054 to us we have secured new homes for other exhibits including ‘Hawarden’, a former Stalybridge working locomotive, and we are delighted that we have been able to work in partnership with the Middleton Railway to secure a new permanent home for a Leeds built Hudswell Clark engine.”
Middleton Railway is currently closed but will reopen for the 2024 season on Saturday 30 March.
The Middleton Railway was built in 1758 and is the first railway authorised by an Act of Parliament, the first to have commercially successful steam locomotives, in June 1812 and also the first standard gauge preserved railway, opening in June 1960. It has operated trains every year since opening in 1758.
This post is based on a press release issued by Middleton Railway
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