Designed by W. Barton Wright as the standard goods locomotive for the L&Y in 1876, the class eventually numbered 280 examples. No. 957 was one of the final batch of 50 examples, leaving the Beyer Peacock factory, Manchester, in 1887 and survived until withdrawn from British Railways service at Wakefield in May 1959. When taken into LMS stock 957 was renumbered 12044 and became 52044 at nationalisation
The engine became subject to one of the earliest private locomotive purchase schemes established in the country. It was bought outright initially by Mr. Tony Cox and kept at Retford. When Mr. Cox became secretary of the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway he brought the engine to the Worth Valley, arriving in March 1965.
The engine has a long list of film and television credits and is probably best known for its appearance in the feature film ‘The Railway Children’ when, in green livery, gained the unofficial name of the ‘Green Dragon’. The engine has also featured in BBC’s ‘Born and Bred’ and the remake of ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’.
The engine was taken out of traffic in 1975 and remained sidelined until a bequest came to the locomotive’s rescue. Now owned by the Bowers Trust, the locomotive returned to full working order in 2001 following a £150,000 overhaul. On withdrawal at the expiration of its boiler certificate, 957 was put aside in Haworth shed with a view to a return to active service and is now in the process of renovation by a small dedicated team, hopefully in time for the 5oth anniversary of The Railway Children in 2020.