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Campaign launched to keep loco 'Stamford' at railway museum in Rutland




A campaign has been launched to make a 94-year-old steam locomotive a permanent resident of Rutland.

Called ‘Stamford’, the loco spent all of its working life at Pilton ironstone quarries and is one of only a handful of quarry steam locomotives that worked in the Rutland quarries to survive.

Its current owners, the volunteer-run Bluebell Railway in Sussex, has agreed to sell ‘Stamford’ to Rocks by Rail near Cottesmore, originally known as Rutland Railway Museum.

The loco 'Stamford' working an enthusiast railtour of the quarry railway at Pilton in 1966. Photo Copyright RbR
The loco 'Stamford' working an enthusiast railtour of the quarry railway at Pilton in 1966. Photo Copyright RbR

Ian Smeeton, a volunteer at the museum, said: “She’s been with us on static display since 1998 and our medium term aim is for our volunteers to carry out cosmetic restoration, with a longer term hope of bringing her back into full steam.

“Everyone who works at Rocks by Rail is a volunteer who donates their time and quite a lot of resources because they have a love of railways and locomotives.

“And between us there are a lot of skills available in terms of being able to restore a locomotive, from metalwork through to painting and finishing.”

The loco 'Stamford'
The loco 'Stamford'

The campaign to purchase ‘Stamford’ means raising £5,000, with some of the funds to be used for the restoration.

Built in 1927 by the Avonside Company of Bristol for the Stavely Coal and Iron Company. ‘Stamford’ is typical of industrial locomotives of the age.

It has an open-backed cab which was to allow those on board to escape when working through the narrow tunnels at Pilton.

The loco 'Stamford'. Colour print artwork at Pilton
The loco 'Stamford'. Colour print artwork at Pilton

The loco finished its working life in 1967 and was later purchased by the Bluebell Railway. However, it was never brought back to working order by their volunteers, who have instead worked on the restoration of many other locos which are more relevant to the Bluebell Line.

While Rocks by Rail is currently closed due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, volunteers are welcome to get in touch to help out when it is safer to do so.

The loco 'Stamford'. copyright[17512] IRS visit S (43876787)
The loco 'Stamford'. copyright[17512] IRS visit S (43876787)

To donate towards the purchase and restoration of ‘Stamford’, people can send cheques marked on back ‘Stamford Loco Appeal’ and made out to Rutland Railway Museum. These can be sent to Mr A Salmon, RbR Treasurer, 4 Main Street, Stanford on Soar, Loughborough LE12 5PY

For those able to donate with Gift Aid included there is an RbR Gift Aid Form, available by emailing curator@rocks-by-rail.org

Anyone wishing to donate by bank transfer can contact the treasurer for these details by emailing andysam@stayfree.co.uk

Rocks by Rail logo
Rocks by Rail logo



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