In the late 19th century, contractors for large civil engineering operations like building a harbour wall or forging a new railway through the landscape tended to buy steam locomotives to help with the building work, carrying away spoil and bringing in building materials. The locomotives purchased by these contractors varied in track gauges and also in size with most of them coming from industrial engineering firms who specialised in the manufacture of steam locomotives.
‘Lord Mayor’ was built during this interesting period by Hudswell Clarke of Leeds for Edmund Nutall, Salford and enjoyed a typically varied career appearing to have been used in the construction of the Castle Cary line for the Great Western Railway and also in several housing estate developments around the country’
The engine ended it working days with Messrs. George Cohen of Stanningley, who donated the engine to the Lord Mayor Trust and eventually it arrived on the Worth Valley Railway in 1968. The engine’s claim to fame is that it was chosen to be a static exhibit at the Shildon Works of British Rail in August 1975 for the Stockton & Darlington 150th Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. Weighing in at just 15½ tons, ‘Lord Mayor is the smallest engine to be based on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and represents an important part of the development of Railways.
In 1990 the engine was purchased by the Vintage Carriages Trust and has seen some limited use but is currently out of action and is a static exhibit at the VCT’s Museum of Rail Travel at Ingrow.
Featured image: Robin Lush