This locomotive was built by W G Bagnall in 1953 and was designed to be only 90inch high. The reduction in size by dropping the cab floor down between the main frames. The 24 foot 9inch inches wheels were set just 5 feet apart which allowed it to negotiate the sharp curve by Par Moors drier. The outside cylinders allowed it to be serviced without the use of an inspection pit, and Bagnall-Price valve gear was fitted. It is one of a number of locomotives that operated at the Port of Par on the Cornish coast which was used by English China Clays. The locomotives had to be squat in stature as they had to run underneath a low bridge which carried the Penzance to London main line.
For the post war years a single locomotive was used but as the traffic increased the need for a second engine was shown and hence this locomotive (Alfred) was built in 1953 to pair with Judy which had been built in 1937.
Although essentially the same design, the later locomotive had several small differences. These included flat handrail mountings instead of turned fittings, and a flush saddle tank without the prominent rivets used on Judy. It also weighed 560lb more
In 1955 Alfred spent a short while at Ponts Mill working in the china clay drier there while the regular locomotive was being serviced, the movement between Par harbour and Ponts Mill being made under its own power over British Railways tracks
Over the years the two engines worked in many liveries, depending on the several different operating companies of their time and the colour of cheap paint available. Many different shades of green were used and found on the engines, varying from a Southern Malachite Green to a darker Brunswick Green.
The two engines worked tirelessly for many years, with the usual crew daily, and most of the maintenance being done in house. In 1969 Judy was withdrawn from service as the cost of boiler repairs could not be justified considering how little rail traffic was now handled at Par.
No longer required for traffic at Par harbour in 1977, Alfred was moved to the Cornish Steam Locomotive Preservation Society (CSLPS) site at Bugle in 1978 where a vacuum brake was fitted so that it could haul passenger trains. In 1987 the CSLPS had to move, and so Alfred found a new home on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway.
In 1994 it was taken to Exeter for a rail fair celebrating the 150th anniversary of railways in that city.
In August 2002 it ran at St Blazey depot on an open day and it was steamed down the branch to Par harbour, the first time in 25 years.
In May 2009 it was taken to Saltash as part of the 150th anniversary of the Royal Albert Bridge.
The locomotive is owned by the Cornish Steam Locomotive Preservation Society and is awaiting overhaul at Bodmin Parkway on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway.
|3058 & 2572 at the Midland Railway Centre – October 2012|