This locomotive was built in 1903 by Manning and Wardle & Co and delivered to the Albion works of T W Ward in Sheffield. According to the factory sales records the locomotive was a special build.
Wards apart from being celebrated scrap metal recyclers were into various forms of heavy engineering. The company had also become machinery dealers and a spin off from that was the buying and selling of industrial locomotives, usually used ones. Quite why they took delivery of a ‘special’ order loco from Manning Wardle is unclear. It may have been a frustrated order, or a locomotive built for stock. It was certainly of a heavy build and ideal for steel works or scrap yard use. It’s unclear on the records weather 1795 actually worked for Wards; if it did it certainly wasn’t for long. Manning Wardle’s factory records have it moving again to James Lysaghts steelworks at Scunthorpe in 1913.
At this point the records are vague. There are details of new parts including a set of steel tyres being ordered for the locomotive, probably while still at Lysaghts in 1914. But how long it remained in Scunthorpe is unclear.
It has been suggested that it moved to the Wensley Lime Company Limited at Preston Under Scar in North Yorkshire during 1913 but this is considered by some to be unlikely as the company would have had no requirement for a locomotive until 1920 when the quarry was mechanised.
The locomotive was certaintly owned by the Wensley Lime Company Limited by 1936 when the locomotive was rebuilt by Ridley Shaw & Co Ltd of Middlesborough and it may have been rebuilt to work at the quarry.
In 1954 Wensley Lime Company Limited was liquidated and the lease on the Preston Under Scar sold to South Durham Steel and Iron Company Limited who owned Irchester quaries in Northamptonshire.
In 1957 the site at Preston Under Scar was modernised and the railway was replaced with a continuous conveyer belt system to feed the screens. This made the locomotive redundant but despite its age it was not scrapped and was moved to Irchester quarries. The reason for its survival was probably due to it having a boiler built by Robert Stephenson and Hawthorne (RSH) in 1948. By 1948 RSH had taken on the goodwill of Manning and Wardle following the closure of Kitsons in 1938.
The locomotive worked at Irchester as number 14 until it was set aside for preservation in August 1969.
Work then commenced on restoring the locomotive which was given the named Brill, recognising the fact that Manning Wardle locomotives had been used on the Brill Tramway that started from Quainton Road. After a few years No. 14 was sold to the Northamptonshire Ironstone Railway and laid derelict there for many years, before being purchased by a new owner and returned to Quainton in October 1998. The name Brill was then removed when further restoration work was undertaken.
The locomotive left the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre in March 2005 when it moved to the Chinnor and Princess Risborough Railway.
In April 2006 another move took the locomotive to the Middleton Railway where extensive restoration work started. By the middle of 2011 it was starting to look like a locomotive again.
In 2012 it was decided to move the locomotive to Barrow Hill Roundhouse following access issues and having suffered from some parts being stolen.
The locomotive has been steamed on three occasions since it was acquired for preservation but due to the valve being on the wrong eccentrics it has never actually moved under its own steam.
Work continues at Barrow Hill Roundhouse to return the locomotive to steam.
|1795 SDSI Irechester – June 1965|