By Geoff Courtney
Locomotive owners Tony and Glynnis Frith are celebrating the return to service of their beloved former Rowntree diesel after the couple carried out an ambitious DIY repaint that returned the 0-4-0 to its original ex-works livery.
Built at Ruston & Hornsby’s Lincoln plant in 1960 for Rowntree & Co of York, it operated as the confectionery company’s No. 3 until 1987, when it was saved for preservation.
Tony and Glynnis bought it from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in 2013 when it was under threat of being scrapped, and since then it has become a popular attraction at the Derwent Valley Light Railway in York’s Murton Park, within a stone’s throw of its former home.
Many hours of work
Standing proudly beside the diesel, Glynnis who, with her husband, is a DVLR volunteer, said: “We spent a lot of hours repainting No. 3, a task made worse by having to work outside. We did it all ourselves other than the lettering and lining, for which we got a signwriter, as that is a skilled job that we would not have been able to do. She is now in the livery she carried when leaving the Lincoln works in 1960.”
The locomotive was named Ken Cooke last year in honour of a D-Day veteran who became fond of the 0-4-0 when he worked at the Rowntree factory after the Second World War until retirement in 1989. Ken, who is 91 and a member of the Green Howards regiment, landed on Gold Beach, Normandy, on the first morning of D-Day, June 6, 1944, aged just 18, and returned home to York the following March.
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