FOLLOWING the controversial gift of LSWR T3 4-4-0 No. 563 by the National Railway Museum to the Swanage Railway, the locomotive was unveiled at Corfe Castle station by a descendant of one of the locomotive’s designers.
Designed in 1890 by William Adams for smooth running at up to 80mph, and built at Nine Elms in London, the 81-tonne No. 563 was not scrapped after withdrawal in 1945.
Instead, it was selected for restoration and display at the Waterloo station centenary celebrations during 1948, in a move that guaranteed its preservation.
Now the volunteers of the Purbeck line, who have just celebrated reintroducing public services between Swanage and Wareham, are to display it to the public – an ultimate goal is to return the T3 to steam.
Attending the welcoming ceremony for No. 563 on Saturday, May 27, were Dr Robert Adams, whose great-great grandparents were the parents of William Adams, as well as Alex Campbell, the great-great grandson of William Adams’ brother John.
Robert, who lives in Sidmouth, said: “It was truly fabulous and extremely enjoyable – an occasion that my wife Margaret and I will never forget. The importance rightly placed on William Adams as one of the greatest locomotive designers of the 19th century was well illustrated.
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