1888-built Hun­slet re­turns to York­shire af­ter 83 years for quick re­turn to ac­tion.

Steam Railway (UK) - - Contents -

Vet­eran Hun­slet 0-6-0ST Hast­ings has moved back to its for­mer home county of York­shire, and is set for a speedy re­turn to steam at the Else­car Her­itage Rail­way. The frames, cab, tank and most other parts of the 1888 ma­chine moved to the EHR from its pre­vi­ous home at Man­gapps Rail­way Mu­seum on March 7. The boiler is part-way through ma­jor re­pairs, in­clud­ing a new in­ner fire­box, at the North Nor­folk Rail­way. Con­structed in Leeds as Hun­slet Works No. 469, Hast­ings spent its early years as a con­trac­tor’s lo­co­mo­tive, en­gaged in projects on the Manch­ester Ship Canal and rail­way con­struc­tion in the South East, where it picked up the name Hast­ings. Af­ter a spell on a contract at Im­ming­ham docks, it was ac­quired by the Park Gate Iron and Steel Co. in Rother­ham in 1915. It spent 20 years at the Park­gate com­plex, just a few miles from Else­car, be­fore be­ing dis­patched to the same firm’s Sprox­ton iron­stone quarry in Le­ices­ter­shire in 1935. At Sprox­ton Hast­ings was the pri­mary source of mo­tive power un­til the early 1940s when Man­ning War­dle 0-6-0ST Char­wel­ton ar­rived and, af­ter over­haul, took on the bulk of the work. Hast­ings was re­tained as a spare and moved fur­ther down the peck­ing or­der when a third lo­co­mo­tive ar­rived in 1957. In 1963 rail traf­fic ceased at Sprox­ton, and the Kent & East Sus­sex Rail­way pur­chased Hast­ings and Char­wel­ton for £250 and £280 re­spec­tively. Both ar­rived at Ten­ter­den on Jan­uary 2 1964. Although Char­wel­ton has been a reg­u­lar per­former in Kent ever since, Hast­ings has steamed only once, in April 1965, and lay dis­man­tled for many years be­fore head­ing to Man­gapps in the early 21st cen­tury for restora­tion. Hast­ings will have a fa­mil­iar sta­ble­mate at Else­car in the shape of Sentinel 0-4-0VBT Ger­vase, which was also an early ar­rival at the KESR and is cur­rently in reg­u­lar use at the York­shire coal­field line.


Hast­ings is craned from the lorry at Elese­car on March 7.

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