I have previously hinted in these short missives that there were ongoing negotiations to bring a resident narrow gauge locomotive to our little system here at Beamish. All can now be revealed, and so it can be reported that Quarry Hunslet ‘Edward Sholto’ (No.996 built 1909) will arrive at the beginning of October to join the working fleet here. It comes by courtesy of its owners Margaret and Andrew Neale, who repatriated it from the USA and orchestrated a conservation focused restoration by a skilled team based at a private site in South Yorkshire.
The engine has recently been based at Statfold Barn, and comes to us via the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway (where these photos, kindly supplied by Dan Crow, were taken) and Bressingham Steam Museum in Norfolk. Subject to acceptance trials and inspection the public debut for Edward Sholto will be on the 6/7 October, then 3/4 November after which it will be winterised. Whilst no locomotives of this type worked in the north east, similar Hunslets did, and the fact that Edward Sholto is so original fits very well with our museum ethos. We are very grateful that Margaret and Andrew felt that their locomotive should pay us an extended visit and hopefully visitors and enthusiasts alike will enjoy the engine’s presence here – bringing the current ex Penrhyn allocation at Beamish to three! Add to this the recent visit by Marchlyn and GP39 and that makes five, and more are planned!