From the Footplate (DVD) : Illingworth 0-6-0 ST No.1208



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Our DVD of saddle tank steam locomotive Illingworth at work on the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

In 1916, Hudswell Clarke built an 0-6-0 saddle tank engine, with works number 1208 which was then used for war work at the Ministry of Munitions at Gretna Green. In 1922 it was bought by the Bradford Corporation to work passenger and goods trains over the Nidd Valley Light Railway between Pateley Bridge and Lofthouse, and up to Scar House reservoir. In 1930 it was renamed ‘Illingworth’ which confused a good number of authors as they had been unaware of this!

Upon the closure of the line in 1936, it was sold to Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd., renamed ‘Harold’, and worked upon the building of the huge Ebbw Vale steelworks. It was sold to Mowlem’s in 1940, and once again carried out war duties, this time at Swynnerton and Ruddington, taking the name ‘Swynnerton’. In 1946 it worked on the Workington breakwater project and then Mowlem’s Braehead power station before being consigned to scrap in 1957.

Somehow the engine survived intact, spending half its life as a rusting hulk, passing through several owners but never on public display. Stephen Middleton (who owns and runs the Stately Trains operations on the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway) heard of the existence of the sole surviving Nidd Valley locomotive, at Great Fransham Station, near Swafham in Norfolk, tracked it down and negotiated its purchase. A lond period of restoration ensued and the locomotive was steamed for the first time in May 2017 and now works regularly on the heritage line at Embsay.