4253 has a 5275 style footplate with a raised section over the cylinders and was built in 1917 at Swindon.

Its entire life under BR ownership was spent based at Newport Pill depot and it was from there it was withdrawn in April 1963 and sent to Barry for scrap.

It remained at Woodham Brothers scrapyard in Barry until August 1987.

It left Barry having been purchased along with four other GWR locomotives (2874, 3855, 5668 and 5967 Bickmarsh Hall) following its purchase by Tony Rippingale and moved to the Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway. The five engines were stored out in the open here until 2007 when all except 5668 were put up for sale.

In 2011 it was sold and moved to the Kent & East Sussex Railway where restoration work commenced.

As a Barry wreck, 4253 is surprisingly complete in so far as most engines by the 1980’s were completely stripped. This engine has most of its original parts. Obviously all non-ferrous material along with all back head fittings are absent. Significant other missing items are the connecting and side rods (typical of all Barry engines), crossheads and rear brake shaft.

Inspection/assessment of parts has revealed that, at some time, the original 18.5” cylinders have been replaced by the later 19” type complete with external steam pipes and raised running plate section.

In terms of a steam locomotive restoration, it is difficult to be accurate about what needs to be replaced. The engine has been stored in the open since 1963 and so plate work such as cab, bunker and tanks are only suitable for patterns. This is a long-term project of 7 to 10 years.

In March 2017 all four driving wheelsets and the pony truck were placed under the frames at the Kent & East Sussex Railway.

There is still no clear date as to when the locomotive will steam again although the hope is that it will be in 2020 or 2021.

By the end of 2018 the bottom end work was virtually complete and efforts were being concentrated on the boiler.

In January 2020 the owners announced that the boiler would be restored at Heritage Boiler Steam Services in order to complete the work 18 months sooner than would otherwise be the case. The boiler was taken for the boiler work later that month.

In December 2020 it was thought that the locomotive could be in steam in 2021 if sufficient funds can be raised and the completion of the work on the boiler.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
Kent & East Sussex RailwayUnder restoration4253 Locomotive Company
4253 at Newport Pill – March 1962
4253 and 7229 in Woodhams scrapyard at Barry – 1966
4253 in Woodhams scrapyard at Barry – August 1974
4253 in Woodham’s scrapyard at Barry – c1982
4253 in Woodham’s scrapyard at Barry – c1984
4253 at Blaenavon April 1997

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