Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST no. 1539
Photographed on 5 February 2009 at Wansford, the Nene Valley Railway. This saddle tank locomotive was Hudswell Clarke’s no. 1539, built in 1924 to the ‘Countess of Warwick’ design. It was ordered by Sir Robert McAlpine & Sons and sent new on 23rd July 1924 to Bushey and Oxley station to work on the Watford Bypass. It was dark blue lined
with white and carried plates lettered SIR ROBERT McALPINE & SONS No. 46.
After the bypass construction job, it worked on McAlpine contracts at Tilbury Docks, Southampton Docks, the Cheddar reservoir, Cardiff [East Moors] Steelworks and Ebbw Vale Steelworks.
In January 1940 it was sold to John Mowlem & Co. Ltd. who named it
HAYLE and used it on the Swynnerton Royal Ordnance Factory in Staffordshire. By March 1943 it was stored at Mowlem’s Hatfield yard in Hertfordshire. From there it was purchased by the Ministry of Agriculture for the Wissington Railway near Downham Market in Norfolk.
The Ministry sent it to LNER’s Stratford works for servicing and delivered it to Wissington by road. On the Wissington Railway it was painted green lined out with black edged with yellow. HAYLE was painted on the tanks in yellow shaded with red. It was known on
the Wissington as ‘Haile Selassie’ after the then popular Emperor of Ethiopia.
In May 1947 it went to the LNER Doncaster works for a complete overhaul, emerging in unlined black with both HAYLE and WISSINGTON LOCO painted on the tank sides. Doncaster used it as a works shunter
for a bit before returning it and WISSINGTON LOCO was probably painted
on the side to remind them it wasn’t theirs!
When the Wissington Railway closed in July 1957 it was sold to Thos.W.Ward who sold it on to Derek Crouch [Contractors] Ltd. of Eye, near Peterborough, who moved it directly to Widdrington, Northumberland.
Picture added on 22 February 2009