In September 2014, the Moseley Railway Trust returned a 1916 built Hudswell Clarke steam locomotive to operation on the Apedale Valley Light Railway. Built in Leeds, the locomotive worked in Africa before being returned to the UK in 2008. Unfortunately, the locomotive was in very poor condition. It had lain in a river bed from 1948 to 1996 before being rediscovered and placed outside an office building at a gold mine in Ghana. The rediscovery was made by a UK-based mining engineer, Colin Laidler. Colin spent many months searching for the locomotive and, after its accidental rediscovery, arranging its recovery. Amongst other things, Colin managed to recover various locomotive parts which had been acquired by local villagers. Famously, he found a key component was in use supporting a village cooking pot; he swapped a bottle of schnapps for this much-needed part!
In 2010, the Moseley Railway Trust commenced the restoration project, which proved ultimately to be an extremely expensive undertaking. One of the key funders for this project was the Stanhope family with funding provided in memory of the late Terry Stanhope, a noted enthusiast of narrow gauge railways. Amongst his other accomplishments, Terry built his own railway at his property near Leeds.
The restoration work was carried out by a small team of Moseley Railway Trust members, and this has brought the locomotive to the superb condition in which it can now be seen at Apedale. In April 2015, the Stanhope family and Colin Laidler were able to come to Apedale and see the Hudswell Clarke steam locomotive at work.
Phil Robinson, Moseley Railway Trust Chairman said – It was a real privilege to host the visit by the Stanhope family and Colin Laidler. The restoration of this locomotive has been a huge team effort. Without the combined effort and commitment of Colin, the Stanhope family, and all the Moseley Railway Trust members who worked on the locomotive, this historic machine would still be a silent hulk rather than the immaculate working machine we have today. It will stand as a lasting testimony to all those people, and also a fitting memorial for Terry Stanhope
The 1916 Hudswell Clarke will be in operation at the Apedale Valley Light Railway’s forthcoming Locos from Leeds Gala on May 16 & 17. This event will celebrate locomotives built by the Leeds manufacturers. A sister Hudswell Clarke steam locomotive will be visiting the railway, and there will be a wide range of attractions for all – railway enthusiasts and all the family!