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This could have been the headlines in 1809!
ON JUNE 10, 1809 an Act of Parliament established the Lydney and Lidbrook (sic) Railway and, to mark the occasion, the Dean Forest Railway will be holding a special event over the weekend of June 13-14 2009. The star of the weekend will be one of the two 2-4-0 Beattie Well Tanks (30587) that were saved for preservation, and which Parker’s Flour Mill works at Bream in the Forest did the restoration work. The engine – which was built in 1874 – is probably the oldest preserved locomotive working in the British Isles.
Beattie 2-4-0s were once a numerous class, but all but three were scrapped as long ago as 1898, except for three engines which worked the Wenford Bridge mineral line in Cornwall. The three survived up to the 1960s as they established themselves as a vital asset for working the tightly curved Wenford Bridge china clay lines, lasting another 67 years.
Press officer Terry Palin said: “It is an exciting locomotive to have at the railway as it has never been to the Forest before, except when in 2001, it was removed from the museum and taken to the Flour Mill workshops in the Forest of Dean, where it was restored to running order over 12 months. Number 30587 was selected to be part of the National Collection and has been a star on many preserved railways.
See the railway’s web site (www.deanforestrailway.co.uk) for further details.