S9 Hudswell Clarke 1238 of 1916

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This loco was built by Hudswell Clarke at their Foundry works in Leeds in 1916. At the time, many of the makers standard Class G locos were constructed to order from the War Office to support the WDLR on the Western Front and other theaters of the Great War.

The G Class locomotives are an 0-6-0 well tank design, using 6½” by 12” cylinders. Two G class locomotives were ordered by Robert Hudson Ltd on 25/9/1915. Ex-works on 13/9/1916, they were Hudswell numbers 1238 and 1239. The 2 locos were exported from the Harrington Dock, Liverpool via the SS Prahsa consigned to the Ashanti Goldfield Corporation. The loco worked near Akrofuom (a locality in the Obuasi district). In 1952 it fell into a river during a storm, killing it’s driver.

It was recovered in 1995, and placed on display outside a museum at Anglogold Ashanti’s mine complex at Obuasi. The condition of the loco does support this story – the wheels, frame etc. are in generally good order, whereas the upper works are in poor condition. and in some cases show signs of recent restoration – the chimney, for example, used whar appear to be the original base and cap, but a drain pipe forms the body.

The loco was returned from Ghana aboard the MSC Samantha, sailing from Tema in Ghana to Felixstowe, arriving 9/5/2008. It arrived at Apedale on 14/5/2008. In 2009, the loco was loaned to the Leighton Buzzard Light Railway to help celebrate the 90th anniversary of the railway which was opened using very similar locos. HC 1238 then moved for restoration. It is hoped that the loco will return, fully operational, to Apedale in late 2012.

As of 2014, the loco has been restored to working order. It debuted at Statfold Barn Railway’s 2014 event, it is now at Apedale and will be used for some steam open days along with The Joffre and Stanhope (not all at the same time).

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3 Responses to S9 Hudswell Clarke 1238 of 1916

  1. Pingback: A welcome return to steam | geoffspages blog

  2. Pingback: Great War Steam Fair

  3. Michael Denholm says:

    I would never have guessed that from the (very) wide range of narrow gauge locomotives in the UK, HC 1238 would appear at Beamish. It’s history is fascinating and it’s survival astonishing. Looking forward to seeing, hearing and having a ‘whiff’ of this Leeds product.

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