Hunslet Works No 1800 Robert Nelson 0-6-0ST


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This locomotive was built 1936 by the Hunslet Engine Company.

It was initially employed at the Holly Bank Collieryat Essington in South Staffordshire. The engine gained the name Robert Nelson after the son of the Charles Nelson who was the chairman and managing director of the Holly Bank Coal Company. The extraction of coal was subsequently taken over by the Hilton Main Colliery when an undergound shaft connected the collieries. Both collieries were part of the Hartley Main Collieries Ltd which was based in Northumberland.

In 1959 the locomotive moved to the Littleton Colliery near Cannock. It operated on the colliery line which linked the mine to the West Coast Main Line at Penkridge.

The mine was named after Baron Hatherton who had assumed the name Littleton in 1812. The first workings at the mine were undertaken by the Cannock and Huntingdon Colliery Company in 1877 on the land of Lord Hatherton. The colliery was modernised ion the 1960s and was one of the largest pits in the Midlands which in 1982 employed 1,900 miners. The colliery closed in December 1993 with the loss of 800 jobs.

The introduction of diesel engines ended the regular use of steam locomotives at the colliery in 1972.

The locomotive started its life at the Foxfield Railway in October 1972. In January 1973 it moved to the Great Central Railway where it was in regular use after being the first locomotive to steam at Loughborough.

After ten years on the Great Central Railway the locomotive moved to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.

It is now to be found on the Riverstown Old Corn Mill Railway at Dundalk in Northern Ireland.

1800 outside the NCB Littleton Colliery shed – March 1970
1800 in front of Hudswell Clarke 1752 in the yard at Littleton Colliery – 1970
1800 at Loughborough on the Great Central Railway – March 1974
1800 at Toddington on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway – Circa 1994-96

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