THE Talyllyn Railway’s Barclay 0-4-0T No. 6 Douglas was unveiled in a brand new livery of RAF Traffic Blue to mark the 100th anniversary of both it and the RAF.
Built to 2ft gauge originally for use at the Royal Naval Flying Corps airfield at Manston in Kent, a few weeks later, on April 1, 1918, the Royal Air Force was formed and the airfield became RAF Manston.
In 1921 it was transferred to RAF Calshot, the RAF’s sea plane base in the Solent, where it worked transferring personnel and stores on a line along Calshot Spit. After that line closed in 1945 the locomotive was eventually sold to Abelson and Co., in Birmingham, and in 1953 was donated to the newly-preserved Talyllyn Railway.
The only condition of the donation was that the locomotive should be named after the then managing director of Abelsons, and so it became Douglas. Regauged to 2ft 3in, it was delivered to Tywyn in July 1954 and has remained in regular service ever since.
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