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Its entire life under BR ownership was spent based at Newport Pill depot and it was from there it was withdrawn in April 1963 and sent to Barry for scrap.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Inspection/assessment of parts has revealed that, at some time, the original 18.5” cylinders have been replaced by the later 19” type complete with external steam pipes and raised running plate section.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.
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|Kent & East Sussex Railway||Under restoration||Kent & East Sussex Railway|