Middleton sets 2020 target for Swanscombe No. 6 return

A £60,000 APPEAL to complete the overhaul of Hawthorn Leslie 0-4-0ST Swanscombe No. 6 has amassed its first few thousands as the Leeds line bids to have the loco back in traffic during 2020.

The chunky saddle tank (3860/1935) spent its entire working career at the Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers’ Swanscombe Cement Works in Kent, before being gifted to Middleton in 1971.

The robust lines of Hawthorn Leslie 0-4-0ST Swanscombe No. 6 are shown to good effect as the loco stands at Middleton Park Gates during its brief period in steam during the early 1970s. CHARLES MILNER

However, it only saw four years’ service in Leeds before being withdrawn for overhaul in 1975 – an overhaul that did not begin until 2001!

Considerable progress had been made to the loco’s bottom end by 2005, but at this point the project ground to a halt as the redevelopment of the railway’s Moor Road headquarters got underway.

It was also known that the loco’s boiler required major work, and it was subsequently leapfrogged by other projects such as the lottery-funded overhaul of Hunslet 0-6-0ST Brookes No. 1.

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