England Engine Tenders
As delivered, the England locomotives are not believed to have been supplied with tenders. The article in 'Engineering' on October 4th 1867 states "The small quantity of coal required by each engine is carried on a 4 wheel truck attached to it". Tenders for Welsh Pony and Little Giant are recorded as being constructed at Boston Lodge between 1868 & 1869. Initially they were probably built on the same type of chassis as the slate waggons. According to the notes left by William Williams ( Locomotive Superintendent from 1881 to 1909 and employee since the 1840s) the tenders were initially separately numbered from the locomotives. There were two tenders in 1865, 4 by 1870 and 5 by 1875 and this number remained until the 1930's. There are building dates for 3 tenders:-
- No 2 in 1880 (coincidently photographed around this time as below)
- No 6 in 1885 (a previous tender with this number existed before this date)
- No 5 in 1891 (a previous tender with this number existed before this date)
Tender No 1 and Tender No 2 would seem to have been built to replace the original 2 tenders and to have hand brakes fitted - worked by a lever on the inside, drivers side. They are the larger metal bodied tenders. The new tenders 5 & 6 appear to have used the metalwork from the earlier tenders by looking at the rivet patterns - but have wooden chassis. Tender No 4 makes one appearance in the Williams books in 1875 (associated with Palmerston) and then doesn't appear again until 1899. Tender No3 appears in 1889 as an existing tender and is last mentioned in 1893. Brakes appear only to have been fitted onto tenders 3, 5 & 6 when vacuum brakes were fitted in 1893.
By the late 1890s the tender numbers appeared to match the locomotives on most occasions. A point to back this up is, that when Palmerston went to the Vale of Rheidol, it had a metal bodied tender (ie either original No1 or No2) but this was numbered 4 .
 Tender Types
Visually, the tenders fall into four basic forms of construction:-
 Type 1
The earliest form. Side and rear panels formed by two, rivetted panels. The top of the tender sides are straight. Front of tender has four brass knobs, the rear has two brass knobs at the corners and a lamp bracket in the middle. A toolbox with sloping lid built into the rear of the tender. Chassis made from wood and both unsprung and unbraked. The earliest photograph of this type of tender dates from c1870 and the latest from c1878
 Type 2
Probably built for Little Giant and Welsh Pony Side panels have a flared top, tapered down at the locomotive end. Side panels are two panels rivetted together. Four brass knobs at the front. Chassis is wooden, there is a tie bar between the axleboxes. The suspension is sprung using leaf springs and the tender is unbraked. The earliest picture is c1871 and the latest is in the mid 1880's. Tender number 6 was rebuilt in 1885, with a single side sheet, tender number 5 was rebuilt in 1891.
 Type 3
The second generation of tenders for the initial batch of England locomotives. High straight sides and only two brass knobs at the front. Hand braked initially , with the mechanism on the drivers side of the tender (but never appearing in photographs!). No 2 became vacuum braked in 1893 and it can be assumed No1 in 1895 with the emergence of Princess in its final form . Metal framed and unsprung when built, No2 became sprung in 1893. There were subtle differences between the two type 3 tenders - No.1 had disc wheels and No.2 had spoked wheels in 1887. Earliest photograph is c1880 the latest is c1898 (ie after locomotives became vacuum braked). The Williams books quote tender number 2 as being built 28/4/80 - "No.2 , A new tender for shunting engine with brake fitted on".
 Type 4
The final development. Tapered sides as in Type 2 and with 4 brass knobs at the front. Coil sprung suspension. Chassis can be either metal (2 off) or wooden (3 off). Wooden framed tenders were not fitted with brakes until they were fitted with vacuum brakes 1893. Tender 6 was the first, built in March 1885. The earliest photograph is 1887. Tenders 3 and 6 certainly had coil springs by March 1891, but photographs suggest this was done before 1887(No6) and 1888 (No3)The change for tender No 5, from leaf spring suspension to coil suspension probably happened when it was rebuilt in the October 1891.
Of the metal framed tenders, No 2 was fitted with coil suspension in October 1893 at the same time it was being fitted with a vacuum brake. There is no record of the equivalent change to No 1, but , if associated with Princess, the locomotive was completed in March 1895.
 Vacuum Braking
Most England locomotives were vacuum braked in 1893 (Welsh Pony-May, Little Giant-June, Palmerston-Aug and Prince-October). Princess was done during the overhaul that ended in March 1895. A drawing exists from 1893, shown below, of the proposed arrangement for Palmerston.
Of interest is that Palmerson is shown with a Type 4 wooden tender (no photos of the loco exist for this time, but the Williams books record this as being tender No.3) and that the conversion included the braking of the tender (ie it wasn't thought of later). If you look in the later photographs, below, of Welsh Pony's tender (ex Princess), the arrangement is almost exactly the same as this diagram.
Recognising the different tenders can be done by looking at the rivet patterns and by the vacuum fittings at the rear - there are subtle differences. Also the tender, mostly associated with Palmerston from the 1920's (which for a time became waggon 38) had a large metal patches on the sides.
The demise of the wooden framed tender, associated with Welsh Pony until the early 1930's is wonderfully described in Boyds 'Narrow Gauge Rails to Portmadoc' on page 78. The remains of this tender existed at the back of the old locomotive shed into the 1950's.
 Allocation of Tenders
The following is the allocation of tenders under the old company as best as can be ascertained from photographs:-
|Princess||Prince||Mountaineer||Palmerston||Welsh Pony||Little Giant|
|1870-1878 Type1||1887-1898 Type3 (tender No.2 in 1887 & 1893)||1877 Type1||1893 type 4 wooden framed, Tender No.3||1871-1880 Type2||1877-1887 Type2|
|1880 Type2 (No.6)||1898-1915 Type4 metal framed (tender No2)||1910-1913 Type4 wooden framed||1880 Type3 (No.2)||1887-1906 Type4 wooden framed (No6)|
|1887-1891 Type3 metal framed Tender No1||1920-1930 Type4 metal framed(tender No2)||1913 Type 4 metal framed (No.4 on rear) as working on V of R(tender No1)||1888-1912 Type4 wooden framed||1923-24, 1926-32? Type4 metal framed ex Tender No1|
|1906 Type4 wooden framed||1930 Type 4 wooden framed||1913-1940 Type 4 wooden framed (heavily patched after 1933)||1915-1932 Type4 wooden framed|
|1923-1926 Type 4 wooden framed||1932-1936 Type 4 metal framed(ex Little Giant & old Tender No 1)||1993 to date Type 4 wooden framed, unbraked.||1932-1938 Type 4 metal framed ex Tender No2|
|1926 Type 4 metal framed(ex Tender No2)||1955 to date Type 4 metal framed, unbraked after 1955 season(ex LG)||1985 to 2012 Type 4 wooden framed ex Princess|
|1926-1930 Type 4 wooden framed|
|1930 Type4 metal framed|
|1937-1939 Type4 wooden framed|
|1939 Type4 metal framed|
|1939-1946 Type4 wooden framed|
|2013 Type4 wooden framed|
The new owners in the 1950's decided against having braked tenders. Thus Prince appeared with an unbraked tender in 1956 (having run the 1955 season with the tender braked). The next tender to be used was waggon 38 (ex Palmerston). This was used behind Linda and then Blanche before dedicated tenders were provided for these locomotives. Welsh Pony's tender (metal framed) was then used for Linda. Waggon 38 was sold to go with Palmerston in 1974.
The final, wooden framed tender was left unaltered and remained with Princess until 1985, when it was coupled behind Welsh Pony on a plinth at Porthmadog. The condition of the frame deteriorated over the years and when the locomotive was finally removed from the plinth in 2004 the tender was taken to Boston Lodge for restoration by volunteers led by Andrew Lance. A new oak frame was inserted and the original metalwork restored , including the brakegear.In 2013 this was cosmetically restored to be combined with Princessagain.
In the meantime Prince had been converted to oil firing in 1980. The tender was considerably rebuilt. The chassis was strengthened and the shell widened. Two water tanks and an oil tank were inserted. The oil tank had a steam heating facility for the waste oil that was being burned at the time. When the time came to rebuild the locomotive again in 1999, opinions had changed, and the water tanks were removed and a new, lower oil tank was designed, incorporating a large wooden toolbox at the rear. In 2012 Prince was converted to coal firing and the tender was provided with a bunker and storage facilities.
 Tenders in the modern era
Below are photographs of Prince and Linda's tenders in 1995 when there was an opportunity to compare them -
Both metal framed and both widened in the modern era. Linda's tender (ex-Welsh Pony ) has an integral water tank installed because of the lower amount of water the Ladies carry in their saddle tanks compared with the Englands.
Prince was rebuilt in the 1980's with both water and oil tanks in the tender. This arrangement was removed in 1995 and replaced with a single oil tank round 3 sides of the tender that both spread the weight and gave seating room in the tender. A large wooden toolbox was added for extra storage (and camouflage!). This was altered again in 2012 for coal firing.
Welsh Pony now has the wooden framed tender that was behind Princess at closure in 1946. These views were taken in 2005 after Andrew Lance's restoration of the woodwork -
Palmerston has the tender that was waggon 38 in the early days of preservation. It is little different from 100 years ago apart from the removal of the brakegear.
 Tender body external dimensions
- Linda - 85" x 34" x 65"
- Prince - 84" x 33" x 61"
- Welsh Pony - 83" x 31.5" x 51.5"
- Palmerston - 80" x 31.5" x 51"