Prototypes, UK - Willans & Robinson of Queensferry

This article was published May 17, 2012.

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The area on the Dee Estuary around Queensferry, Shotton and Hawarden is well known for its steel works

W.G.Bagnall Limited of Stafford built many small locos for industrial use. The smallest of these had cylinders of 4in, 41/2in and 5in diameter, and became known as the 'Baby Bagnalls' . According to Bagnall's records they built four of these locos for 18" gauge, two of which are well described in Smither's book '18in Gauge Steam Railways'. These are number 1560 of 1899 supplied to the Brede Vally Pumping Station, and number 1907 of 1909 which went to the Bolton Model Poultry Farm, and later to John Knowles. So, now for the two other 18in gauge examples ;

No. 1651 built in 1901 - was originally on hire to Willans & Robinson of Queensferry. The area on the Dee Estuary around Queensferry, Shotton and Hawarden is well known for its steel works, so could No. 1651 have been employed in this industry ? Its stay here was, however, very brief for in 1902 it was sold to Blackbrook Collliery Co. Ltd. in Glamorgan where it was named Ant.

No. 1842 built in 1907 - purchased buy Alfred Herbert Ltd. of Coventry and named 'Alfred Herbert'. It was still at this site in 1927 when an order for spares was delivered from Bagnall's, but was up for sale in February 1928. It then seems to disappear, so was perhaps sold for scrap.

/Peter C

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