This locomotive was built in 1923 by the Hunslet engine Company for Airdale Collieries Limited. This company had been established in 1919 when the Wheldale coal company amalgamated with Allerton Bywater colliery to form Airedale Collieries Ltd.
The locomotive was the first member of the standard 15 inch cylinder design which became known as the Airdale class.
They were powerful locomotives that found favour at many collieries, particularly in Yorkshire.
In 1963 Airedale was transferred to Acton Hall Colliery at Featherstone from West Riding Colliery at Normanton in 1963.
By this time it had been fitted at Hunslet with an underfeed mechanical stoker and gas producer. The purpose of this was to make the locomotive more efficient and it also had the side effect of reducing the amount of smoke produced.
At Acton Hall the locomotives duties involved working all week at the washers at Snydale Colliery which were still in operation despite the closure of the colliery.
With the deployment of diesel traction in 1970/71 the work for steam locomotives declined. At this time it was given the number S106.
The locomotive arrived at the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway in December 1975. Although it has been steamed once since it has never moved under its own power. It is currently stored awaiting completion of its restoration.
|1440 at Embsay – July 2014|