Project "Stanhope"

Last update: 15th December 2007

Stanhope and its travels

Stanhope was manufactured by Kerr Stuart & Co. of Stoke on Trent in 1917 as works number 2395. It was the first "Tattoo" class locomotive to be fitted with Hackworth valve gear, and as such was illustrated in the contemporary maker's catalogue. It was sold to Holloway Brothers of Inverkeithing for use on construction of the Royal Naval Dockyard at Rossyth and afterwards also the Sidcup bypass. In 1930 the loco was sold to Durham County Water Board for use on the Weardale reservoir contract. It is here that it received its name, from a local village. In 1934 the loco was sold to the Penrhyn Quarry in North Wales, where it was modified by lowering the boiler by 6 inches to improve stability. By 1948 the loco was out of use, and remained on the scrap siding for a considerable number of years. Many of the parts were removed for use in the restoration of other locomotives. In 1966 the loco found its way into preservation, but deteriorated even further until, after several owners, the restoration of the remaning parts began in 1994 at the premises of the FMB Engineering Company.

The enormity of the project will be realised by the following brief (!) inventory of missing parts: wheels, motion and valve gear, boiler, smokebox, saddle tank, injectors, brake systems, springs, controls and a whole host of detail parts.

In late March an agreement was reached with Alan Keef Ltd., Light Railway Engineers of Lea Line, near Ross on Wye, to complete the remaining work to return Stanhope to working order. This entailed Stanhope being stripped down to enable remedial work to be carried out on the wheels and axleboxes. After this, all motion work was re-fitted. Lost motion has been fitted to the brake mechanism to allow the installation of a steam brake. Recently manufactured items are the rivetted saddle tank, blast pipe and ash pan, safety valves and clack valves. After just over five years restoration and more than fifty years since she last ran, Stanhope finally steamed back into life in early September, in time to make a special appearance at the Alan Keef open day on September 11th. The eventual aim is to operate the locomotive at the new site of the Moseley Railway Trust, however in the meantime it is based at the West Lancashire Light Railway at Hesketh Bank, where it arrived on 20th November 1999.

More recently, Stanhope has been the guest of several other railways:

July 2001: Leighton Buzzard Light Railway.

Courtesy David Hall

August 2001: Knowl Hill Steam Rally

J.Rowlands

September 2001: Golden Valley Light Railway, Midland Railway Centre

J.Rowlands

May 2003: Festiniog Railway Interactive Weekend.

Top photo: Pulling away from Minfford yard with the gravity freight train, accompanied by Linda. Courtesy Owen Chapman

Bottom Photo: Approaching Campbell's platform during an evening excursion to Blaenau.

J.Rowlands

Stanhope also visited the Welsh Highland Railway at Dinas in 2003

June 2005: Amerton Railway. See also http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/jasrowlands/amerton

J.Rowlands

Stanhope was a regular performer at Amerton during the 2005 season.

September 2005: Statfold Barn Private Railway

J.Rowlands

Now, is that van 2ft gauge or 2ft 6ins?

Want to watch the video?

(Courtesy Simon Moore) - Windows Media Player (.wmv) 1.5Mb

May 2007: Lynton and Barnstaple Railway

Courtesy David Pritchard

September 2007: South Tynedale Railway

John Rowlands


Official Works Photograph of Stanhope

Stanhope at Port Penrhyn, 1930s (Courtesy Industrial Railway Society). Note the lowered position of the boiler, a modification carried out by the Penrhyn Quarry company to improve stability on the Penrhyn trackwork.


If you would like to see more, please visit the Stanhope Restoration Gallery Pages.

Have you visited the Talyllyn Railway's site which describes their "Tattoo" loco, Edward Thomas?


If you have any comments on this page, please email me.

To the Moseley Railway Trust Home Page.