Long-forgotten ‘Convent’ engine Newstead looking for new home

A LONG-forgotten Hunslet 0-6-0ST which was recovered by Nene Valley Railway volunteers from a convent in March last year needs a new home.

Thought to have been long since scrapped, 16in Hunslet No. 1589 of 1929 Newstead was rediscovered by NVR fireman Steve Thomas.

Hunslet 0-6-0ST No. 1589 of 1929 Newstead at Wansford on the Nene Valley Railway. BRIAN SHARPE

Members of the line’s Small Loco Group paid a visit to the nunnery and found Newstead in storage in a corrugated iron shed, complete with all the controls, pipework, and even a new fire grate and boiler tubes.

“In Egyptology terms, it was like finding a perfectly preserved mummy, with all vital organs; give him a meal and he’d be walking around,” said Alex Alder, one of the team which found it.

Newstead was bought by enthusiast Malcolm Saul from Woolley Colliery near Barnsley in 1972. He sold his steam roller to pay for it, and later returned it to steam.

After a place to house it was found at the nunnery, Newstead was inched and winched down a ramp of sleepers and rail, into a convent garden. A shed was built around it, the ramp was removed, and poplars were planted.

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