World Wickham Day

Today is World Wickham Day. 100 years ago, on this very day in 1922, the first Wickham rail trolley was despatched from Ware, Hertfordshire.

Within the Moseley Railway Trust collection is an example of a type 17A Wickham gang trolley works number 4131 of 1947. It left Wickham’s works at Ware in Hertfordshire on 7 January, and was delivered to the Great Western Railway, Llanrhaiadr Station, Denbighshire. It passed into British Railways (BR) ownership when the GWR was nationalised on 1 January 1948. During the 1960s, the vehicle was regauged for employment on the 23 ½ inch gauge Vale of Rheidol Railway, Aberystwyth, which was then operated by BR. Some sources claim that this work was done at Wickhams in 1961, others that BR did the work at Wolverhampton works in 1963. The JAP engine eventually wore out and was replaced by a tiny Moto Lombardini diesel engine. The vehicle was last used by BR in 1984, being replaced by a more modern Permaquip vehicle (which remains in use on the Vale of Rheidol). In 1986, it moved to the Old Kiln Railway in Surrey. In July 1990 the vehicle, now without an engine, joined the MRT collection. It is intended that the vehicle will be restored to self-powered operation in due course.

You can read more about Wickhams on the site maintained by the Rail Trolley Trust –