Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A tale of two Pecketts

Peckett 0-4-0 saddle tank W4 class

‘George Jennings’ of the South West Potteries was a W4 built in 1902 Works Number 920, whilst ‘Henry Cort’ carried Works Number 933 and was delivered new as one of a pair to the Ebbw Vale Steel and Iron Co, South Wales, on 12 January 1903, it been built in Bristol to Peckett & Sons Ltd class W4. 140 locomotives were built by Pecketts to class W4 between 1885 and 1906 and it represents a classic late Victorian four-coupled medium range industrial saddletank. Henry Cort’s twin was called "Musket", works number 934, and together they worked at the Ebbw Vale Steelworks. After 17 years ‘Henry Cort’ was fully overhauled at the company's own workshops, and a further major overhaul followed 17 years later. After 51 years’ service the locomotive was declared redundant at Ebbw Vale, but the works then owners, Richard Thomas & Baldwins, moved ‘Henry Cort’ to their ironstone quarries at Blisworth in 1954. Three years later it moved again, when transferred to Irthlingborough quarries in July 1957.

 When the quarries were closed on 30 September 1965 the owners did not want to see the locomotive scrapped and offered it to the Foxfield Railway, which was just being established. ‘Henry Cort’ was moved to Foxfield in February 1967 and became the first locomotive to move on the line under preservation. A complete overhaul of the motion was carried out but a crack in the firebox tubeplate eventually led to ‘Henry Cort’ being withdrawn from use at the end of the 1974 season.

 Agenoria Models W4

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