Adams’ descendant unveils T3 at Swanage

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.

The NRM’s Andrew McLean (far right) on board T3 No. 563 with descendants of its designer William Adams and his family. ANDREW PM WRIGHT

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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