This locomotive was built by Hawthorn Leslie in 1926 for Babcock & Wilcox Ltd. It was used at the Renfrew Works of the boilermaker for twenty years.
The Renfrew Plant employed over 5,000 workers and the rail network was very extensive and in addition to sidings on either side of the Pailey-Renfrew Wharf main line (closed in 1966 and reduced to a freight siding thereafter) there were numerous spurs going into and out of the various shops.
It was transferred to Babcock’s tube mill at Dumbarton in 1946 but was no longer required there by 1969.
It was then transferred back to Renfrew in 1972 where it was overhauled by apprentices of the company. The wheels were quite worn, due to the locomotive having to negotiate very sharp curves on uncertain track within the factories. The boiler was overhauled in the package boiler. There were a number of steam fittings which were either worn out or missing, and these included the steam manifold and the injectors. Drawings were obtained, patterns made and castings manufactured. These were then machined up and the fittings completed and assembled. However, Babcocks had no means of testing them, and the Scottish Railway Preservation Society (SRPS) provided assistance.
The locomotive steamed again in 1980 and was named Lord King after the company Chairman.
When the railway system at Renfrew Works ceased to be used, it was donated by the company to the (SRPS). The locomotive was moved to the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway in 1981 or 1982. At that time it had a valid boiler certificate and was in good condition.
Although the engine worked very little at Bo’ness as it is a small engine designed for shunting duties. It is not currently in working order and no longer carries the nameplates for Lord King as it was painted as Percy in Thomas the Tank Engine stories.
|3640 Sir John King at Boness – June 1981|
|3640 at the Bo’Ness & Kinneil Railway – June 2014|