Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn     Works No 7544    No 1 Bonnie Prince Charlie 0-4-0ST

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This locomotive was built by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn in 1949 for Corrall Ltd and initially worked In Poole at the Ballast Wharf in Hamworthy.

In 1965 it moved to the owners depot on Dibles Wharf in Southampton.

The locomotive was purchased for preservation by the Salisbury Steam Trust in 1969 and came to Didcot shortly afterwards where it was steamed for a period before being overhauled again for the 1985 season.

Since then it has been painted blue and fitted with a vacuum brake and it has seen use on passenger duty.

saw a couple of periods of use before being restored again for the 1985 season. In that year the sight, and sound, of him pulling Blue Peter out of one of the shed roads at Didcot, against an unhelpful curve and gradient had to be seen to be believed.

The engine is much smaller than the auto coach it normally hauls and the driver have to lean out a fair way to see round the coach when pushing it. The locomotive is quite powerful for its weight and is therefore able to haul heavy loads, as long as the rails are dry.

The locomotive is now on static display at Didcot whilst it awaits an overhaul.

7544 at PD Fuels, Hamworthy, Poole – March 1965
7544 at Didcot – 1966
7544 (0n left) at Didcot – October 1969
544 under overhaul at Didcot – August 2000
7544 at Didcot – June 2001
7544 at Didcot – January 2011
7544 at Didcot – April 2014
7544 at Didcot – April 2019
7544 at Didcot – August 2020

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