Home - Location - Timetable - Facilities - FAQs - Events - Stately Trains
News - Photogalleries - Digital Archive - History - Shops - Departments
Stocklist - Projects - Signalling - Membership - Volunteering - Links
Illingworth / Mitchell
In 1916, Hudswell Clarke built an 0-6-0ST, with works number 1208 which was then used for war work at the Ministry of Munitions at Gretna Green. In 1922 it was bought by the Bradford Corporation to work passenger and goods trains over the Nidd Valley Light Railway between Pately Bridge and Lofthouse, and up to Scar House reservoir. In 1930 it was renamed 'Illingworth' which confused a good number of authors as they had been unaware of this!
Upon the closure of the line in 1936, it was sold to Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd., renamed 'Harold', and worked upon the building of the huge Ebbw Vale steelworks. It was sold to Mowlem's in 1940, and once again carried out war duties, this time at Swynnerton and Ruddington, taking the name 'Swynnerton'. In 1946 it worked on the Workington breakwater project and then Mowlem's Braehead power station before being consigned to scrap in 1957.
Somehow the engine survived intact, spending half its life as a rusting hulk, passing through several owners but never on public display. Stephen Middleton (who owns and runs the Stately Trains operations on the railway with vintage carriages) heard of the existence of the sole surviving Nidd Valley locomotive, at Great Fransham Station, near Swafham in Norfolk, tracked it down and negotiated its purchase. Although it has not yet arrived on the railway, it is being restored, and will haul Stephen's fleet of vintage carriages on picnic trips and the like. For the photographers, Illingworth will carry 'Illingworth' on one side and 'Mitchell' on the other to reflect the full time of its service in Nidderdale. For further information on the locomotive, I can recommend the Friends of Illingworth website.
The photograph to the right is not of Illingworth, but of Watson, an identical locomotive which also worked on the Nidd Valley Light Railway and was latterly transferred to industry, finishing its days at ?North Gawber Colliery?. An article appeared in YDR News about the progress made with Illingworth in 1997, titled The Illingworth Project.
All the work being carried out on the boiler has been completed, and so this is now ready for retubing. The work carried out on the boiler has included the fitting of a new firebox, a new front tubeplate as well as all the other necessary repairs. New tyres for the loco have also been fitted to the wheels (which had to be turned beforehand, which is quite unusual).
All the components are in the shed at Embsay now, and have been assembled, giving a good impression of what the compelted locomotive will look like. However, to allow further boiler work to take place, this has now been dismantled once again.
Photos of Illingworth undergoing restoration