Built: 1916

Hudswell Clarke 1208 of 1916 Mitchell (up to 1930) / Illingworth (1930-1938)

Owner: Stephen Middleton

Stephen Middleton was surprised to discover that a locomotive from a railway local to him and long since closed has survived. Ex. Nidd Valley Light Railway Hudswell Clarke 1208 of 1916 Mitchell (up to 1930) / Illingworth (1930-1938) was in bits in a Norfolk garden.

“Illingworth” was first named “Mitchell” when manufactured by Hudswell Clarke of Leeds for war work at the Ministry of Munition at Gretna Green. It was bought by the Bradford Corporation in 1922 to work passenger and goods trains on the Nidd Valley Light Railway between Pateley Bridge and Lofthouse and up to the reservoir site at Scar House. In 1930 it was renamed “Illingworth”.

Upon 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 Mowlems 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 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.

A lengthy restoration ensued and Illingworth was finally steamed again during May 2017, making its preservation debut on the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway’s Branchline Weekend Event.  These were the first passenger-carrying trains which Illingworth had hauled for over 80 years!


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