This locomotive W6-S (Greenhithe) class locomotive was built by Peckett & Sons in 1937 to meet an order for Black Park Colliery Co. Ltd at Chirk in Denbigshire. This type of locomotive had lower footplate and cab in order to work where there was a restricted loading gauge. The locomotive was delivered by the LMS to Chirk Station at was given the name Hornet.
The Black Park Colliery was believed to be one of the oldest collieries in North Wales and is thought to date back to at least 1653. The colliery was leased from Sir Thomas Myddelton of Chirk Castle in the 1800s.
The colliery closed in 1951 and the locomotive, which was by then under National Coal Board ownership, transferred the Weston Rhyn depot, just south of Chirk, from where it worked on the NCB line to Lfton Colliery.
In November 1968 the locomotive was moved to Bersham Colliery near Wrexham where it remained for the rest of its working life.
Bersham Colliery expanded tunnels into the surrounding area and care was needed to avoid subsidence. As a result a large pillar of coal was left untouched to allow the nearby home of the Yorke Family at Erddig Hall remain out of danger. Unfortunately this did not prevent subsidence and in 1973, subsidence of 5 feet occurred, leaving the house structurally unsound. Eventually the owner of the estate, the last Squire Yorke had to move out of Erddig and left the property to the National Trust. The National Coal Board paid the trust compensation of £120,000 to stabilise the building through underpinning.
The locomotive was eventually replaced at Bersham by diesel power and stood out of use and neglected from March 1980 until October 1983 when it was rescued by the Ribble Steam Railway.
The locomotive is being cosmetically restored before being placed in the museum at the Ribble Steam Railway. Full restoration work is planned for a future date.
|1935 at NCB Bersham, Denbighshire – November 1975|