Peckett 0-6-0ST “Scaldwell” of 1913
Works Number 1316, built at Atlas Works, Bristol, for the Lamport Ironstone Company, Northampton
The Trust is very pleased to announce that we have become the owners of a remarkably-complete three-foot-gauge steam locomotive. “Scaldwell” has been part of the Amberley Museum for many years, but no longer fits into their collection (as their onsite railway is two-foot-gauge): Amberley contacted the Trust to see if we wished to be shortlisted as potential future owners. We were then chosen to receive this important asset, which is a tribute to our growing reputation within the heritage railway movement: we are very grateful for the confidence in us shown by the Amberley Museum, and would like to thank Martin Piggott, James Smith and Rebecca Main for their hospitality, and all their help.
Although the locomotive is not, of course, a Sharp Stewart, and differs in design from our own locomotives, it has its own history, being a very rare genuine Bristol-built three-foot-gauge locomotive, which worked in the essential ironstone industry during the First World War, and after. It is considerably more powerful than the SR’s ‘Sharpies’.
As it has been in the open for some years, it has quite a bit of superficial rust and damage – but the basics are good, as far as we can ascertain: Peckett had a reputation for over-engineering their products. Our engineer has made a thorough survey, and is happy that restoration is eminently possible. “Scaldwell” is remarkably complete, with almost all its fittings intact – and the locomotive even comes with a spare set of unused wheels and axles!
SRT will need to raise funds to transport “Scaldwell” to Suffolk: it is hoped that the Membership will be able to provide these. If we don’t quite make it, donations from non-members will be sought. The first stage after transport will be to stop further deterioration. After that, we will commence restoration, for display at our new railway attraction in Southwold: volunteers are capable of doing this work. The display of the locomotive to the public will allow us to raise its profile, so that funding can be raised for full restoration: it is essential that the locomotive is not dismantled prematurely. Too many times in the heritage railway industry, complete locos have been dismantled before a proper plan for restoration was in place: that is a recipe for parts to go missing, and an artefact which is informative to the public becoming a heap of bits. There is no reason why grant aid should not be possible, as this locomotive has historic importance.
We would like to reassure members and supporters that this certainly does not mean that we are abandoning our Sharp Stewart “Blyth” project: the railway must and will have an SR-style loco: our Heritage Train will run on the SR. But most heritage railways run rolling stock which is available, practical and simple, in addition to an authentic heritage train: “Scaldwell” joins the Three Foot Gauge Railway Supporter’s Society’s Manx Northern Railway Coach, Peter Nicholson’s Motor Rail loco “Mells”, and the Chairman’s Hudson tipper, as valuable, though not SR-styled, rolling stock on our stocklist.
We are establishing a support group – “Friends of Scaldwell” – to take an interest in this locomotive, and help the Trust to restore it – if you are interested in talking part, please contact the Chairman, James Hewett, on firstname.lastname@example.org
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