Robert Heath and Sons Ltd      No 6 0-4-0ST

Robert Heath 6 at Blythe Bridge Foxfield Railway Oct 2007.jpg

The plate on the locomotive states that it was built by R Heath & Sons Ltd at Biddulph Ironworks in Stoke on Trent in 1886. It is thought to be a copy of Loughborough based Falcon Engine and Car Works (later Brush Electrical Engineering Co) locomotive that the company had acquired.

The locomotive was rebuilt in 1934 by Cowllishaw Walker Engineering Co Ltd who were based in Biddulph and took over the workshops of Norton and Biddulph Collieries in 1930.

It spent its industrial working life at North Staffordshire collieries operated by Robert Heath & Sons. It continued to be employed by the National Coal Board (NCB) following the nationalisation of the coal industry in 1947. Under the NCB it worked at Norton (Stoke-on-Trent) Colliery until it was withdrawal from service at the end of the 1960s.

In 1967 the locomotive was moved to Shugborough Hall.

The locomotive eventually found a home at Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum in 1984. It was loaned for exhibition to the 1986 National Garden Festival at Stoke on Trent.

When Chatterley Whitfield closed in 1993, the locomotive found a new home at the Foxfield Railway.

The locomotive has steamed in preservation and is currently undergoing an overhaul.

In June 2020 it was disclosed that the locomotive had been acquired by the Knotty Coach Trust for use with its North Staffordshire Railway coaches at the Foxfield Railway.

No date has been set for the return to steam of the locomotive following what is expected to be restoration work costing a six figure amount.

No 6 at NCB Chatterley Whitfield Colliery – circa 1966
Robert Heath No 6 at the Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum.jpg
6 at the Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum
Robert Heath No 6.jpg
6 at Caverswall Road on the Foxfield Railway – July 1999
6 pilots 1310 on the Foxfield Railway – July 1999
No6 on Workington dockside moving a consignment of rails from the Corus works for shipment to Ireland. Photo charter – March 2001
Robert Heath 6 at Blythe Bridge Foxfield Railway Oct 2007.jpg
6 at Blythe Bridge on the Foxfield Railway – October 2007

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