This 0-6-0 side tank engine was built by Hudswell Clarke & Co Ltd in Leeds to an order by G & T Earle Ltd. At a cost of £2860, and with works number 1704, it was completed during December 1938 displaying its name Nunlow.
The engine was delivered to Earle’s cement works at Hope in Derbyshire to operate its single-track branch line. This two-mile line had been completed in 1929 to service the then recently completed works, and was connected to the LMS Railway’s route from Manchester to Sheffield, via the Hope Valley.
The engine took its name from Nun Low, the hill that was excavated to became Pindale Quarry.
Nunlow was used alongside 0-6-0ST Winhill, both being used to bring in 350-ton trains of coal, gypsum and other goods, and take out 21 vans of bagged cement. About ten trains a day were run to and from the exchange sidings.
The arrival of a Rolls-Royce powered Sentinel diesel locomotives in 1963 signalled the end of steam operation at Hope. Nunlow was relegated for use in the works yard and eventually became surplus to requirements in 1968, when it was put up for sale.
Earle’s, by that time part of Associated Portland Cement, accepted an offer of £500 from the Bahamas Locomotive Society, and the engine moved to the recently opened Dinting Railway Centre near Glossop.
The engine arrived on 1st April, in time for preparations for the Society’s first Easter Steam Weekend two weeks later, and proved popular with the public as it operated alongside the Society’s larger exhibit, the ‘Jubilee’ Class express locomotive Bahamas. It was the first industrial tank locomotive to arrive at Dinting and was soon put into regular service by providing footplate rides for visitors each Sunday throughout that summer season.
Following the closure of the Dinting Railway Centre in 1990 Nunlow spent the summer on loan to the Swanage Railway in Dorset. It then moved to the Society’s new home on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway where, following the completion of the Society’s museum at Ingrow in May 2003, it became one of the major exhibits.
During 2005, the engine was invited to return to its former home at Hope, now operated by Lafarge Cement UK, as a major exhibit during a public open weekend. Although the engine was unable to work, it created such interest that a further invitation was received for it to return in September 2008 with the suggestion that it may once more operate in the works yard.
Following overhaul, its first appearance was at the 40th anniversary event to celebrate the opening of the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in June 2008, followed by a return visit to Hope that September.
The engine is awaiting overhaul before it can return to steam and is currently on view in the museum.
Below is a short presentation of the engine’s history.