© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
I was staying for the weekend in Corby, with some of my
"industrial" friends - and Saturday's entertainment would be a
tour around some of the "goings-on" in the general vicinity.
We'd lived through the end of main line steam - it didn't feel
as though much more could change. But looking back, more
than 30 years later, it's amazing just how much has
First call was at the rectory at Cadeby, home of Teddy Boston
and his railway. I don't think there was much going on - the only
photo I took was of the Orenstein and Koppel (yes, I know it's not
a saddle tank) well tank locomotive undergoing restoration, O&K
7529 of 1914. We moved on the short distance to the
neighbouring village of Newbold Verdon, where ex-Penrhyn
Quarry Hunslet "Pamela" resided. Pamela (HE 920 of 1906) had
been rebuilt with the boiler and cab from "Bronllwyd", a
Hudswell Clarke, hence the somewhat non-standard appearance.
Our next destination was not far away - The Battlefield line at
Shackerstone was in its early stages of development here, with a
variety of locomotives sitting around in various stages of
restoration. Another lines which had just reopened was the
Great Central at Loughborough, where two locomotives were in
action - a fine pair of 0-6-0STs, both ex-Littleton Colliery.
"Littleton No 5", a rather attractive Manning Wardle (2018 of
1922) was in steam at Quorn station, while "Robert Nelson No. 4"
was in action on the passenger service. It made a spirited
departure from Loughborough station, but just out of range of
our cameras, something went wrong - steam was shut off and the
train came to a stand just beyond out vantage point... Time to
move on again.
Not far from Loughborough were the Mountsorrel granite
quarries of Redland Roadstone. Elizabeth, Peckett 1759 of 1928
had clearly not been used for some time - but was worth a photo
The Hon. John Gretton had established a base at Market
Overton, at a former depot for the ironstone
lines there. We didn't see Pendennis Castle or
Flying Scotsman, both of which resided there for
a time, but two industrial locomotives were out
in the open and available for photography - a
Barclay 0-4-0ST, ex British Sugar at Spalding (AB
1931 of 1927) and "Fred", a rather fine-looking
Avonside (1908 of 1925).
Another standard gauge preservation project had recently been
established at Peterborough. Much of the nascent Nene Valley's
stock was in store at Peterborough sugar factory, including the
ex-Swedish Railways 2-6-4T no 1928. "Derek Crouch", the ex-
contractors' Hudswell Clarke (HC 1539 of 1924) was in action a
little way away on the former BR line.
And that was it - almost. Back to Corby - and one more saddle
tank, the 18" Hunslet (2411 of 1941) which was, in effect, a
prototype for the well-known "Austerity" 0-6-0ST, "preserved" by
the Corby & District Model Railway Club, in West Glebe Park.
Where are they now? At time of writing (December '05)
O&K 7529 is undergoing restoration on the Golden Valley
Pamela is at the Old Kiln Railway, Tilford, Surrey;
Peckett 2012 is now at the Lavender Line in East Sussex;
L 3931 is at the Ribble Steam Railway; NCB 11 is still
based at the Battlefield line
Littleton No 5 is awaiting restoration at the Avon Valley
Robert Nelson No 4 is in Ireland - at the Riverstown Old
Corn Mill railway
Elizabeth, Market Overton's Barclay and the Corby Hunslet
are at the Rutland Railway Museum
"Fred" is at Maldegem, Belgium
1928 is at Hope Farm, Sellindge, Kent, in private
...and Derek Crouch is still on the Nene Valley