Sentinel       Works No 6807     Gervase 0-4-0 VBGT

This locomotive was originally built by Manning Wardle as a class H saddle tank in 1900 as Works No 1472

And delivered to J S Peters Merstham Lime Works near Croydon.

After heavy use the locomotive was converted to a 0-4-0 vertical boiler tank engine by the Sentinel Steam Locomotive Company in 1928 whilst still owned by J S Peters..

During the period 1940-42 it was loaned to the Dorking Lime Works and in 1949 it was sold to the Standard Brick Sand Company of Redhill.

In June 1962 the locomotive moved to the Kent & East Sussex Railway (K&ESR) where it was steamed for trial trips, working trains and shunting etc during the 1960 and was the first locomotive to be in steam there. It is thought to have been out of use by the time the railway opened in 1974 and it was sold to Resco Railways Ltd in 1979.

By early 2008 the frames were in a siding and had been exposed to the elements for a great number of years. The wheelsets sit on the other side of the running line, together with the cab front. The inner and outer boiler sections were in some long grass by the Rolvenden up inner home signals, and appear to be beyond aid.

There were a number of components completely missing and there was anecdotal evidence that all the backhead fittings had been stolen in a burglary at Resco Railways many years earlier. The complete Sentinel “engine”, cylinders, valves, etc, had disappeared. There was no water tank and the outer bodywork/cladding and the chain from the chain drive had gone. The locomotive remained based on the K&ESR where some boiler work was carried out it then went to the Elsecar Heritage Railway near Barnsley in 2008 where it underwent much of the restoration work to restore it to working order.

In January 2011 a fire was lit in the locomotive for the first time in 45 years.

It was transferred to David Wright’s Locomotive Maintenance Services based at the Great Central Railway (GCR) in September, 2012 for the completion of the restoration.

The work was completed in mid March, 2013 and the locomotive then underwent a series of successful trials before running there in the following month.

The locomotive is now operational at the Elsecar Heritage Railway.

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