Didcot secures visit from Fawley Hill’s No. 31

HUDSWELL, Clarke 0-6-0ST Sir Robert McAlpine & Sons No. 31 made its first preservation-era visit to another heritage railway in late October when it joined ‘Swindonised’ Hudswell, Clarke 0-6-0ST No. 813 at Didcot Railway Centre. 

No. 31 can usually be found on the late Sir William McAlpine’s private railway at Fawley Hill (now in the care of his widow, Lady Judy McAlpine), but moved to Didcot during mid-October, where it ran alongside visiting No. 813 on October 30, and again on November 1-2.   

Hudswell, Clarke 0-6-0ST pair Sir Robert McAlpine & Sons No. 31 and Severn Valley railway-based No. 813 stand side-by-side at Didcot Railway Centre following No. 31’s arrival from Fawley Hill on October 10. FRANK DUMBLETON/GWS 

No. 31 was posed with ‘Castle’ 4-6-0 No. 4079 Pendennis Castle while at Didcot, which was part-owned by Sir William McAlpine in the 1960s and 1970s until sold to the Hammersley Iron Company in Australia. 

The two locomotives have never previously met despite sharing the same owner.

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