Hudswell Clarke    Works No 1208 Illingworth 0-6-0ST

Hudswell Clarke 1208 MidSuffolk Railway June 2018.jpg

This locomotive was built by Hudswell Clarke in 1916 to work at the Ministry of Munitions at Gretna Green where it was given the name Mitchell (Mitchell was the Corporation’s engineer).

It was bought by the Bradford Corporation in 1922 to work passenger and goods trains on the Nidd Valley Light Railway between Pateley Bridge and Lofthouse and up to the reservoir site at Scar House.

In 1930 it was renamed Illingworth (Councillor Illingworth was a member of the Waterworks committee).

When the Nidd Valley Light Railway closed in 1936 the locomotive was bought by Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd and renamed Harold. It worked at the Ebbw Vale steelworks until 1940 when it was sold to Mowlems where it was employed on war time duties at Swynnerton and Ruddington and carried the name Swynnerton.

In 1945 it worked on the Workington breakwater and then Mowlem’s Braehead power station before being consigned for scrap in 1957.

Surprisingly the locomotive survived intact under the ownership of several people but was never on public display.

It was discovered in a garden in a garden in Norfolk by the current owner (Stephen Middleton) and after a lengthy restoration the locomotive was finally steamed again on the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway in May 2017.

In May 2020 it was announced that the locomotive would be renamed Nightingale and Seacole to show support for the front line workers fighting the Coronavirus pandemic. The story of Florence Nightingale is well known but that of Mary Jane Seacole less so. Seacole was a  British-Jamaican business woman and nurse who set up the “British Hotel” behind the lines during the Crimean War.

Hudswell Clarke 1208 MidSuffolk Railway June 2018.jpg
1208 at the Mid Suffolk Railway – June 2018
1208 at the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway – May 2018
1208 on the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway – August 2019

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