No. 12 - p308-311






    Further to the article concerning this locomotive in RECORD 2, I recently happened to locate some photographs which reminded me of a rather unusual feature. When the broken axle was removed at Towyn I noticed that the tyres on the driving wheels were not correctly aligned to the wheel centres - i.e. the ‘back to back’ dimension of the tyres was greater than the ‘back to back’ dimension of the wheels, suggesting that the gauge had been widened somewhat. Presumably this was done when RUSSELL left the Welsh Highland. Readers may care to comment.

Yours etc.,





    Further to my letter in RECORD 10 on the subject of Brown & Company, it now appears that both our conclusions were wrong. Mr S.H. Pearce Higgins has evidence that both the vertical boiler locomotives in question were built by Chaplin.

Yours etc.,





    My remarks on BERRY HILL No.1 (page 234, RECORD 10) seem to have been a little premature. Mr J.W. Lowe tells me that the colliery was owned by Henry Warrington & Son who also owned an ironworks there. The locomotive was assembled at Berry Hill from parts supplied by various makers, before the ironworks was closed in 1906. Avonside 1343 of 1890 is given in Avonside records as BERRY HILL No.2, but I won’t budge from my statement that the last No.2 was Scottish built and have been supported in this by Lionel Heath. It is more than a little odd that an Avonside would have gone to Barclay’s for repairing. The solution would seem to be in Barclay’s records.

Yours etc.,





    Referring to pp 229-230 of RECORD 10, T. Worthington had a 2ft gauge 0−4−0 well tank named ARMAGH (possibly by Orenstein & Koppel) at Goraghwood Quarry, Northern Ireland, in 1912-1915. It is not impossible (though only supposed) that this might have gone to Orkney.

"THE BUILDER" - 1874

    I was most interested to see the picture of SALFORD in RECORD 10 (page 233) but question whether it was the SALFORD on T.A. Walker’s Manchester Ship Canal contract. This is generally stated to have been Manning Wardle 1024 of 1888, and anyway it seems unlikely that the locomotive offered for sale by T. & C. Walker in 1874 should in fact have been in T.A. Walker’s ownership from then until 1887 without apparently being recorded on any other contract; or to have been bought back. The locomotive illustrated may well be Worcester Engine Company no.1 of 1865, which is recorded as having 11½in by 18in cylinders, 3ft 2in wheels, and named SALFORD.

    It may be useful to list the Worcester Engine Company locomotives I know:-

1 0−6−0 saddle tank 1865     (see above)  
2-6   no information      
7-16 0−6−0 tender 1867     North Staffs. Rly. 90-99
17-26 0−6−0 tender 1867     Great Eastern Rly. 437-446
27-32 0−6−0 tender 1867-1868     Bristol & Exeter Rly. 77-82
33-34 2−4−2 well tank 1868     Bristol & Exeter Rly. 83-84
35-39 0−6−0 side tank 1868     Metropolitan Rly. 34-38
40-69 0−6−0 tender 1868-1869     Great Eastern Rly. 447-476

In addition, fifteen locomotives were ordered for Russia in April 1870. Has anyone further details of these?

    One of T. & C. Walker’s locomotives on the Somerset & Dorset contract (see page 232) may now have been identified. Part 10 of "The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway" (RCTS) at pp K55-K56 gives 0−6−0 saddle tank Manning Wardle 66 of 1863 as T. Savin, BORTH, then Cambrian Rly. 24, sold to the Llynvi Coal & Iron Co. in 1867, later H. Jackson, P.C. Wilkes of Shepton Mallet, and T. Docwra of Rotherhithe. "P.C. Wilkes" may well be a clerical error for "T. & C. Walker", unless "P.C. Wilkes" can be positively identified.

Yours etc.,




("P.C. Wilkes" is an error in the RCTS book and most probably originates from the official Manning Wardle Engine Book where the calligraphy is legible only after prolonged study. The entry should read "T. & C. Walker, Shepton Mallet." - Hon. Eds.)


    There are a few errors in the account of ELECTRIC No.1 (RECORD 7, page 155) which was not taken over by the National Coal Board as it was scrapped in 1934. The statement that it had a tendency to break cranks is very odd as the motor (or motors) would have to be slung under the frame to allow the batteries to be housed under the bonnets. Photographs give no indication of any cranks. The usual things which happen as a result of violent starting are the stripping of gears or the shearing of keys.

    Confusion seems to have arisen about renumbering. Three locomotives went from Philadelphia before 1947. These were 37 (R. & W. Hawthorn 1430), 38 (R. & W. Hawthorn 1478) and 30 (Robert Stephenson 1919). No.37 was in the Stanley district on "Vesting Day" (1st January 1947) and was included in the stock of N.C.B. No.6 Area. When scrapped in 1949 it had not been renumbered although very probably allocated No.40 in the book list which had always been blank. (it would seem that Mr Gee has confused ELECTRIC No.1 with No.37.) No.38 finished up at Beamish (No.5 Area) and was scrapped there in October 1951, while No.40 worked principally at Grange Villa and was scrapped in November 1955. The present No.51 arrived in 1948/1949 and filled the gap in the No.2 Area locomotive list.

    The power station at Philadelphia stood on part of the site of the present garage of the Sunderland District Omnibus Co. Ltd. A little of the old building still stands on the south side of the garage, and remnants of the track are still in situ across the road leading to the locomotive shed and stores. The site of the present storeyard was formerly occupied by sidings. The station supplied power to the Sunderland District Electric Tramways but became defunct long before the National Grid came on the scene.

Yours etc.,




    (This letter raises some interesting points, and it will be seen that the Club’s records of the allocations and scrapping of nos.37, 38 and 40, need to be amended in the light of this fresh information.

    According to S. A. Staddon’s "The Tramways of Sunderland" the Sunderland District Electric Tramways ran from Easington Lane to Grangetown (connection with Sunderland Corporation Tramways) with branches to Penshaw and Fence Houses, the car sheds and power house being at Philadelphia. "By May 1905 the Company were ready to start a service but for the fact that their Power House was incomplete". Trams commenced running on 10th June 1905 but the system lasted only until 12th July 1925 when buses took over.

    Readers may care to comment on these facts, but it would seem to us that the power station was not colliery property - at least, not originally. With ELECTRIC No.1 becoming L.H.J.C. No.51 the suggestion is that it was not supplied new to L.H.J.C. but was obtained after No.50 (1924) and before No.52 (1929). Could it be that it too was owned initially by the Sunderland District Electric Tramways Limited? - Hon. Eds.)


    Recently a colleague at work was reminiscing, and in the course of his conversation remarked that I might be interested to know that after a Foundry in Tipton, locally known as the "Four Furnaces", closed down about 1924 all the locomotives there were left standing in the open just where they happened to be at the time. There were about five of them, all painted green, with "hump-backs over the boiler" (i.e. saddle tanks) and one man was kept on just to paint the fence around the works and also the locomotives. He did this faithfully for years (as well as polishing the brasswork) despite the height of the grass and weeds which grew up, until just before the outbreak of war in 1939 Cashmore’s men came and cut them up on the spot.

    Now of course, I duly looked out the West Midlands pocket book and stuck the entry on page A74 for William Roberts (Tipton) Ltd. under his nose the following morning, much to his astonishment. You will notice that instead of going to Cashmore (as we have it), in some cases Cashmore came to them, but while my colleague was otherwise very happy with the book reference, he is adamant that the 1921 closure date for the works is wrong. He even went to the trouble of questioning his mother, who must be very old, but I understand is normally pretty sharp, though in this case his expectation that she could pinpoint the date right to the day (or nearly) didn’t get closer then 1924, or late 1923. Other friends he asked said 1932, 1926 (both of which were laughed out by others present), and a couple of 1923’s, with a majority for 1924.

    His main argument though, is that his late father was wounded in the First World War, and was not discharged until 1919. He was a barber by trade, but had "the shakes" so badly that he couldn’t do much of it without the trouble starting, so that he ran a fair risk of removing more ears than hair. His doctor advised him to get a daytime job to keep body and soul together, and to open his little shop for a couple of hours in the evenings, just for pin−money and to keep his hand in. However, he was only one among many, and he did have some small means of support from his tonsorial activities, so that it was nearly two years before he got a proper job - chipping bricks for Roberts at Tipton Green Furnaces. This lasted about eighteen months until the works closed down, and Arthur Portman, my informant, plainly remembers seeing the locomotives when he took his dad’s lunch to him occasionally! Memories of this kind obviously stick hard, and although the evidence is admittedly not conclusive it does seem that the date of closure would be late 1923 or 1924.

Yours etc.,




    (This letter shows how a chance remark developed into a piece of interesting research. Yes, research! To qualify as a research worker doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve to search through mouldering piles of parchments in a depository or a firm’s records in the locomotive fitting shop, nor visit your local library - see RECORD 7, page 156. A great deal of valuable and "living" information on defunct systems can be "researched" in conversation with old "gaffers" who, unlike written records, cannot be preserved. Each one of us has the opportunity to carry out research work and, if you’re not one to visit the archivist, go seek out the "gaffers" before they (and the steam locomotive) fade away. - Hon. Eds.)