Jack steams again at Statfold

A popular 18in gauge 0-4-0 well tank that has been returned to action was undoubtedly the star of Statfold Barn Railway’s June 9 Enthusiasts and Photographic Day.

To the delight of the 1800 visitors who attended the event, Jack, a Hunslet 0-4-0WT (No. 684 of 1898) ran light engine up and down the 18in gauge line that runs between Tram Station and Oak Tree. Owned by the Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, Jack is on loan to Statfold for the foreseeable future.

Hunslet 0-4-0WT Jack ran light engine along the 18in gauge line at Statfold Barn on June 9. GARETH EVANS

The locomotive’s operation at Statfold seems appropriate – as it was built for service in nearby Ashby de la Zouch with John Knowles Metal Box Limited, manufacturers of fire bricks and earthenware pipes. Jack was used to transport clay materials to and from the kilns.

Withdrawn in 1957, the locomotive was donated to Leeds Museums. It arrived at Statfold in early 2016 ahead of the flooding that hit the Leeds museum.

Statfold’s Henry Noon confirmed there are no plans to offer passenger rides on the 18in gauge line. “The track has been in place for a year or so, waiting for Jack to run,” he added.

A total of 17 steam locomotives ran at the venue, which lies north of Tamworth, on June 9. They included Marchlyn, Sybil Mary, Isibutu, Statfold, Jack Lane, Harrogate, Liassic, Trangkil No.4 and Howard. Other popular performers included railbus The Goose and Burton & Ashby Light Railways tramcar No.14.

As featured in issue 240, the recently opened, impressive new museum attracted a wealth of positive comments from visitors.

Henry concluded: “June 9 was another great day at Statfold. We’re now looking forward to September 8, when we host our Enthusiasts’ Day.”

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