This class R2 locomotive was built in 1928 by Peckett & Sons for the Holborough Cement Co at Snodland on the River Medway in Kent where it was named Hornpipe. It worked there under different ownrers until it was replaced by diesel traction in 1971.
Chalk has been excavated in the Medway valley as far back as Roman times for making quick lime.
During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries a whole series of cement works grew up along the banks of the Medway. Each one had its own pits and industrial railways.
The Holborough plant was established as a private venture in 1923 by William Lee Henry Roberts who lived in Snodland but was also the High Sheriff of Kent. The plant was commissioned in the following year and the Holborough Cement Company Ltd was established in 1925. The company became part of the Red Triangle group in 1928 but this organisation crashed in 1931 and most of the organisation was acquired by Blue Circle. Blue Circle had been formed in 1900 as the Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers Ltd by the combination of 24 cement works.
In 1911, the British Portland Cement Manufacturers Ltd. was formed by the addition of a further 35 companies, creating a company with an initial 80% of the British cement market.
The locomotive was purchased by a Quainton Railway Society member, arriving at Quainton in August 1972. It was stored for a period before being sold to another member who completed restoration work. The locomotive re-entered service at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre during the 1980 season and remained in service there for a number of years.
In May 1987 Hornpipe moved to a private site in Berkshire, where it has been maintained in operational condition. In July 2012 Hornpipe visited the Mid Suffolk Railway for a short visit, calling in at Ipswich Docks on static display on route.
The locomotive is currently at a private site at Fifield near Windsor in Berkshire.
|1756 at Snodland – June 1969|