W G Bagnall Works No 2473 Huntley & Palmer No 2 0-4-0F

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This locomotive was one of two ordered from W G Bagnall by the biscuit manufacturer Huntley & Balmer at Reading. Works No 2473 was ordered in May 1932 and delivered later that year. Works No 2474 was delivered in the same year. 2473 carried the No 1 and 2472 the number 2.

Both were a fireless locomotives which means that had a steam accumulator rather than a boiler and was charged up with steam from a stationary boiler. It also meant that there was no chance of it starting a fire.

The railway system at the Huntley & Palmers biscuit factory at Reading connected to the main line system on both the north and south sides of the River Kennet.

The factory’s railway system closed in December 1969 and No.2 was scrapped in March 1970. No.1 was sold in May 1970 and moved to the Great Western Society’s Didcot Railway Centre.

In 2003, Jane Griffiths (who was Member of Parliament for Reading East at the time) discovered the locomotive and mounted a campaign to return it to Reading. The locomotive was re-located to the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway where it remained until March 2009.

It was then moved to a site in Kent from where it was sold (through a dealer) to a new owner in East Bierley, near Bradford, West Yorkshire.

The locomotive is in store at the Model Farm Shop, East Bierley, near Bradford.

2473 receiving attention at the steam recharging point at Huntley & Palmers biscuit factory at Reading – April 1969
2473 at Didcot – September 1970
2473 at Washford on the West Somerset Railway – September 1979
2473 – March 2011

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