Robert

Robert at Bold Colliery Feb, 1980 - John BrooksRobert was built by Hudswell Clarke in 1943 as works No.1752. It was built to the design of the Hunslet Engine Company Ltd of Leeds who had adapted their 50550 design for the War Department. It had the WD No.75091.

The 50550 design of 0-6-0 Saddle Tank had been adapted by Hunslet in 1941 from their 48150 design first introduced in 1937. Both designs had 18 inch diameter by 26 inch stroke inside cylinders with Stephenson's Link motion. Wheel diameter was 4 ft and 1/2 in and the boiler pressure was 170psi.

The later design differed from the former in that the saddle tank extended to the full length of the boiler.

 

Robert at work - John BrooksDuring 1942 that the forthcoming success of the war campaign in Europe required a large number of heavy shunting engines. At first the LMS Jinty was considered but Edgar Alcock, Chairman of Hunslet, persuaded the Ministry that the Hunslet design with its shorter wheelbase and its simpler design would be more appropriate.

So the Austerity 0-6-0ST was born. Compared with the Hunslet locomotive the WD had 4 ft 3 in wheels reducing its tractive effort from 26,280 lbs to 23,870 lbs. It retained the 1200 gallon saddle tank but the bunker was extended to give it a capacity of 2 tons 5 cwt compared with 2 tons. Various materials were changed to reduce costs

After the war further locomotive were built for industrial use and although many of the WD locomotives never returned to the UK the LNER bought 75 which became the J94 Class. With a Robert at Bold Colliery - Graham Wignalltotal of 484 locomotives of the three designs built it is one of the most numerous and successful of British steam locomotive designs.

Many of the returning locomotives went to the National Coal Board including No.75091. It first went to Holly Bank Colliery, near Wolverhampton in 1950. The colliery closed in December, 1952. It then went to Littleton Colliery in Staffordshire in 1959 where it was in the company of two former GCR locomotives, Littleton No. 5 and Robert Nelson No.4. Littleton closed on 10th December, 1993 only a year after was deemed a core pit and would not close. No.75091 then moved around several collieries before being moved to Bold Colliery near St Helens on 27th February, 1978 where it was named Robert. While at Bold Colliery it was prepared for and took part in the Rocket 150 celebrations at Rainhill.

 

 

Robert at Quorn & Woodhouse, 3rd Nov, 2007 - Dennis WilcockRobert was withdrawn and sold for preservation in 1982 and was later preserved at the Crewe Heritage Centre. In 2007 it was bought by Roger Hibbert and moved to the GCR, arriving at Quorn & Woodhouse in November, 2007. Since then it has been undergoing a full restoration to working order.

The second photo from the top was taken by John Brooks on 19th February, 1977 on the line from Penkridge to Littleton Colliery where the locomotive, as NCB No7, was retained as spare engine before its transfer to Bold Colliery where it acquired the name Robert.  The location is crossing the Shropshire & Worcestershire Canal near Penkridge and just before the line passed under the M6 motorway. Penkridge or actually Boscomoor just to the south was the interchange point with BR, the exchange sidings being on the Stafford to Wolverhampton line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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