Manning Wardle     Works No 1207  NCB   The Welshman 0-6-0ST

MW 1207 at Barrow Hill - February 2014.jpg

This locomotive was built in 1890 by Manning and Wardle & Co for Llay Hall Colliery near Wrexham. The locomotive is a rare long-boiler engine being one of only two built. The locomotive was rebuilt by Manning Wardle in 1908.

The collier had opened a few years earlier in 1877 and reached its peak in the 1930s when it employed 460 workers. The mine closed almost immediately after it was nationalised in January 1947. The closure followed a series of underground explosions which resulted in five men being badly burned.

The locomotive remained at Llay Hall Colliery until 1966 when it moved to a few miles to Gresford Colliery.  Gresford Colliery closed in 1973 because of geological problems.

The locomotives last industrial home was at Bersham Collieery near Wrexham. This was the last working coal mine in the former Denbighshire Coalfield. It closed in 1986 but evidence suggests that this locomotive was not based there as late as that as two diesel locomotives had been in use since 1978. It is believed the locomotive was retired in 1971.

The locomotive was then housed as part of the NCB collection at Lound Hall Museum in Nottinghamshire before being transferred to Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum in 1989. This centre was shut down in August 1993 and the liquidators attempted to sell the collection. The Yorkshire Mining Museum (later called the National Coal Mining Museum) obtained an injunction throught the Charity Commission and secured the items including this locomotive.

The locomotive was placed in the care of the Chesterfield Locomotive Action Group in 2002/3 and the locomotive was moved to Barrow Hill.

Next the locomotive was moved to Rocks by Rail at Cottersmore.

A loan agreement was concluded in September 2015 with the Foxfield Railway and the National Coal Mining Museum – initially for a ten year period and provided for the locomotive to be cosmetically restored. The view of the Foxfield Railway was that they would look at renewing the loan for a full restoration. The boiler was understood to be in good condition but a new axlebox and a new wheelset were known to be required.

MW 1207 at Barrow Hill - February 2014.jpg
1207 at Barrow Hill – February 2014
Manning Wardle 1207 at the Foxfield Railway - May 2018.jpg
1207 at the Foxfield Railway – May 2018


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