Hawthorn Leslie     Works No 2918    Pony Achilles 0-4-0ST

Hawthorn Leslie 2918  Chatham Dockyard Museum September 2010.jpg

This locomotive was built by Hawthorn Leslie in 1912 for Blyth Harbour Commission. Here it became BCC No 2.

In 1971 it was sold to the Yorkshire Dales Railway at Embsay (now the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway) for restoration. Here it was given the name Pony.

The locomotive appears to have been moved to the Heritage Centre at County School which was part of a preservation project initiated by the Great Eastern Railway. This later became a base for the Mid Norfolk Railway. It then seams that the locomotive was rebuilt and entered service again in 1994.

The County School project closed in 1996 and the locomotive was sold to a private buyer.

In 1998 the locomotive was sold to the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and moved to Chatham where it was renamed Achiles.It ran at Chatham until its boiler certificate expired in 2004 and has not steamed again since.

When I was doing the initial research Wikipedia said stated that the locomotive was still at the Historical Dockyard at Chatham. Other sites indicated that it was stored by Moveright International Ltd. Other comments were that the locomotive would be scrapped if the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust could not find a buyer. To add to the confusion Wikipedia quoted the works number as 2928.

The current ownership and whereabouts of the locomotive were unclear. At one time I thought it might be based on the East Kent Railway but I am advised that the locomotive called Achilles that was on the East Kent Railway for a period was Peckett 2087.

In October 2020 I was contacted by the owner of 2918 (Mike Thompson) who bought it around 2014. As he has not had time to overhaul it he has put it up for sale and is seeking a good home for the locomotive.

The locomotive was subsequently purchased by Del Tilling.

As of the summer of 2020 the locomotive was at Tyseley awaiting an overhaul.

In February 2022 the locomotive was moved to Derbyshire where it is being overhauled. The boiler is being worked on by Isreal Newton of Cromford.

2918 at Sheringham on the North Norfolk Railway – April 1976
Hawthorn Leslie 2918  Chatham Dockyard Museum September 2010.jpg
2918 at Chatham Dockyard Museum – September 2010
2918 at Chatham Historic Dockyard – July 2013
2918 being unloaded in Derbyshire – February 2022
2918 at Isreal Newton of Cromford – June 2022

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