Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn     Works No 7214 George 0-4-0ST

This locomotive was built by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn in 1945 and delivered new to the Spondon factory of British Celanese.

The company was not called British Celanese until 1923 despite the firm being established in 1916. The firm was set up by Henri and Camille Dreyfus of Switzerland when the brothers were invited to live in Britain by the British Government so that they could produce their recently developed cellulose acetate dope for the war effort. The canvas skins on aircraft at that time were sealed nitrocellulose dope which was ignited easily by bullets. The brothers developed the necessary plant and British Cellulose and Chemical Manufacturing Company was registered in March 1916 and the British Government patented the process.  At the end of the First World War the British Government cancelled cancelled all contracts and the company changed to producing acetate fibres. In 1923 the company changed its name to British Celanese Ltd and later became the first factory in Britain to produce propylene. In 1957 the firm was taken over by Caurtaulds.

In 1967 after working at the Celanese factory it was retired onto a plinth at the children’s playground at the then Courtauld’s Sports ground, Spondon where it remained until August 1982.

The locomotive is now in the Midland Railway Centre workshops at Swanwick Junction, Butterley where it is being restored.

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