Avonside Engine Co Works No 1977 Cadbury No1 0-4-0T

Avonside 1977.jpg

 This locomotive was built by Avonside Engine Company in 1925 for use on the railways at Cadbury chocolate works.

The Cadbury works railway operated from 1884 until 1976.  At its peak, it incorporated six miles of track.  Tight bends within the factory complex meant that an 0-4-0 configuration was generally used for loco’s and the maximum wheelbase was 7ft 6in.

A bridge carried the railway over the main line and Worcester and Birmingham Canal to the Waterside warehouses.

The company owned up to six private locomotives, initially steam powered and finally replaced by diesel, which marshalled three outbound trains every day except Sundays.

Eventually the cost and shipping advantages of road over rail became clear, and the last train left the sidings in 1976.

Locomotive 1977 operated at Bournville until 1963 when it was sold to the Dowty Railway Preservation Society whose base was at Ashchurch in Gloucestershire, on a site owned by Dowty Mining.

In 1982 the Society was given notice to quit as the site was to be redeveloped. The following year, agreement was reached to move the 10 miles to Toddington, and the standard-gauge rolling stock, including Cadbury No. 1, was transported to the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway (GWR).

Cadbury No. 1 enjoyed its moment of glory when it operated the first public train in April 1984.  This was a ‘push-pull’ service, and all trains on the GWR were operated in this way until the line reached Winchcombe in 1987 where a run-round loop was installed.

The locomotive remained the only steam locomotive available at the GWR until the end of 1985 when its 10-year boiler certificate expired after a year-long extension. As the line grew, small industrial locomotives were clearly becoming less appropriate and the North Gloucestershire Railway Company decided to sell engine to the Birmingham Railway Museum at Tyseley. It was overhauled and spent a number of years operating there before, once again, its boiler certificate expired and it has since remained stored next to the Tyseley turntable.

It is still stored at Tyseley awaiting restoration.

1977 at Aschurch – circa 1967
1977 at Ashchurch Steam Centre – July 1982
Avonside 1977.jpg
Cadbury No 1 at Toddington – May 1986
1977 Cadbury No1 at Tyseley – June 2011
1977 Cadbury No1 at Tyseley – October 2017

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