The Peckett

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The Peckett 0-6-0 saddletank (built by Peckett & Sons, Bristol) formerly worked at Harrogate Gas Works and was acquired by the FR in 1957 as a potential mainline loco. It was in need of a significant rebuild before it would be suitable. The damage to the cab back (see picture on the right below) was caused in craning at the Harrogate end according to Paul Dukes. (Bob Harris 2017)

The locomotive had some unusual features. The firebox is said to have been designed to burn coke which would be readily available as a byproduct in a gas works. At Harrogate it only had short intermittent trips to make through the tunnel to deliver coal so steam demand from the boiler would have been low. The front third of the saddle tank is a dummy to improve its visual appearance and does not store water.

Clive Briscoe wrote of the 1987 tests:

"I spent a lot of time during a 2 week stay in Boston Lodge fettling the axleboxes when it was finally dragged out of Glan y Mor to test it out on the FR. The boiler had been given a hydraulic test and passed but after it was towed up the line, it's rigid 6 wheel wheelbase was too much for some of our curves." (Briscoe, 2016)

Paul Martin reported: "When it was dragged up the railway as a chassis it went round Tyler's without problems but it was chaired track and it probably moved the track to suit it. When we got to Dduallt and on to the new alignment we all relaxed and it promptly fell off. We put it back on and tried again and it fell off again. The loop points were still in and they were in some really heavy rail with no give in it. Gave up and went home at that point." (Martin 2017)

After these tests, it was finally concluded that the loco would not be suitable and in 1987 it was sold to the Bedgar & Wormshill Light Railway.

The loco's official name was to be Volunteer, but it was never formally named and had no name plates.

It was eventually restored to running order on the The Bredgar & Wormshill Light Railway. However it proved unsuitable for their line and was sold. It now resides on the privately owned Statfold Barn Railway, near Tamworth.

In April 2012 the locomotive returned to FR metals, in order to take part in the Blaenau 30 celebrations. It travelled along most of the FR. It was delivered to Minffordd, taken to Boston Lodge, and steamed up to Blaenau for the "gauging trials" prior to the Blaenau to Tanygrisiau shuttles. Of course FR metals had changed by 2012 and one round trip is a different matter from regular use. (Jones 2017) It appeared at the WHR Gala in September 2013.

Principal dimensions
Cylinders 9.5 x 14"
Driving wheels 2' 3.5"
Boiler pressure 200psi
Tractive effort 7,810lb
Boston Lodge Early to Mid 1970s
Boston Lodge April 1972 showing the damaged cab back and the stencilled spoof notice ascribed to Paul Dukes and Ron Lester. Photo: John Ryan


The Peckett being prepared for gauging runs in 1987.
Fully restored Peckett, named Harrogate, at Bredgar & Wormshill Light Railway Open Day May 2001


Reference

Briscoe C (2016) Facebook post in Narrow Gauge Enthusiasts Group on 11/4/2016.

Harris R (2017) Facebook post in Narrow Gauge Enthusiasts Group on 9/5/2017.

Jones H (2017) Facebook post in Narrow Gauge Enthusiasts Group on 9/5/2017.

Martin P (2017) Facebook post in Narrow Gauge Enthusiasts Group on 9/5/2017.

See also[edit]