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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 27 - Spring 1976

The Wotton Tramway: Rise and Fall Part 10 - The Manning, Wardle Saddle Tanks

In 1894 the Wotton Tramway was in a state of great activity. New station buildings were being built to plans which had been approved in the April; the contractors, Baldry & Yerburgh were relaying the track with 50 lb a yard rail on good gravel ballast, fencing was being erected, and level crossing gates were being made to the requirements of the County Council. One of these station buildings still exists at Westcott. The design comprised a waiting room about 13 ft by 11 ft with a fireplace and this room was flanked on one side by the booking office and on the other by the ladies' and gentlemen's toilets.

The Tramway extension planned to be built from Brill to Oxford was also in the news. Although it had not been started, let alone completed, in the four years allowed by the Act of August, 1888, the powers had been renewed in 1892 for another two years; that is, to 7th August, 1894. In August, 1894, a further four years extension of the completion date was obtained by a third Act of Parliament. This Act also approved a major deviation to the 1888 route which is clearly shown on the map reproduced in Part 8 published in Quainton News, Spring, 1975. Unfortunately this reference to the Oxford extension is the last in the history of the Tramway because the line was never built. It is interesting to conjecture on whether or not the proposed Bill before Parliament in 1895 for a London and South Wales Railway had any influence on the O & AT Co's Oxford scheme. The projected new railway route between South Wales and London would have bridged the River Severn and crossed the Cotswolds to Oxford. It would then have connected with the Metropolitan Railway at Great Missenden, south of Aylesbury, with a possible terminus near the authorised Marylebone station of the MS&LR. The South Wales scheme collapsed in 1896 and it could be this situation that made the O & AT Co ready to hand over to the Metropolitan Railway in 1899.

1894 was the year the 0-6-0ST's were introduced to the Quainton Road to Brill branch. Ken Jones, in his book on the Wotton Tramway (Oakwood Press), refers to two locomotives hired in the previous year, 1893, the first in July, but the details of types and makers are not known. The hirer was a Mr Phillips of Newport. Charles D Phillips of Emlyn Works, Ebenezer Terrace, Newport, Monmouthshire were a firm of general engineers, agricultural implement makers and patentees of the lock-jaw roofing tile. They also dealt in plant and published a Phillips Monthly Machinery Register.

The two engines acquired by the O & AT in 1894 were contractors type tank engines. It had been the Company's intention to again hire the first engine, named Huddersfield, from the owners, J D Nowell of Todmorden (Todmorden is about 12 miles west of Huddersfield), but, to avoid the burden of payment of £26 a month, Earl Temple purchased the locomotive outright for £450 in the February.

It was one of Messrs Manning, Wardle & Co Ltd's standard K Class 0-6-0ST's which had been built in 1876, maker's No. 616. The K Class and their predecessors were very popular for use on constructional and industrial works, including new railways, and many hundreds of these inside cylinder engines with their 3 ft diameter coupled wheels were built for these customers. No. 616 was ordered by Messrs T A Walker, civil engineers who are best remembered for their work on the construction of Barry Dock, the Severn Tunnel and the Manchester Ship Canal. The engine was named Prestwich, a northern suburb of Manchester. The firm, J D Nowell, previously mentioned, were also civil engineering contractors. In 1885, for example, they were engaged on major contracts for the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway in earth moving and foundations for the new Horwich locomotive works. Prestwich may have changed owners and become Huddersfield at this time, but Nowells are believed to have obtained it from another contractor, Messrs Cubitt Son & De Lange at Bridgwater whence the branch from Edington was built in 1888. The coupled wheelbase of No. 616 was 10ft 9 ins and it had 12 in bore cylinders with pistons having a 17 in stroke. Its weight in working order was 18 tons compared with the 10 tons of the Aveling and Porter engines which it displaced.

Huddersfield was delivered to Quainton from a Nowell, contract at Portland, Dorset via the LSWR main line and no doubt it was a very welcome addition to the available motive power during this period of reconstruction. The name, Wotton No. 1 was adopted for No. 616 but it served for only a few years on the branch. Repairs were carried out in 1895 and the engine does not appear to have worked much more after 1896. It was sold to Phillips of Newport in 1901 after the Metropolitan had taken over.

The Board of Trade inspection of the reconstructed Tramway was carried out on 19th October, 1894 and the Inspecting Officer, Major General C S Hutchinson, R E, issued a favourable report and required only minor additional modifications such as clocks and nameboards at the stations. He also pointed out the need for statutory powers for the four level crossings but these were in fact never obtained!

On the news of a good report the O & A T Co ordered a second 0-6-0ST, another K Class, similar basically to Wotton No. 1, but this second engine was brand new from Manning, Wardle's Boyne Engine Works at Hunslet, Leeds. It was named Earl Temple and was Maker's No. 1249. Delivery took place in December, 1894. It cost £1,000 and was, once again, purchased by Earl Temple personally and then hired to the Company at £2 a week. The new locomotive had a covered cab and the special steam speed control valve on the left side of the smokebox and this can be seen on the picture of the engine at Brill station. The speed control governor was fitted to meet the Board of Trade requirements. Earl Temple had by this time been renamed Brill No. 1. Notice also the improved design of smokebox compared with Huddersfield which is pictured at Quainton Road.

The third Class K 0-6-0ST was named Wotton No. 2. This engine was also purchased new from Manning, Wardles and was built in 1899, maker's No. 1415. When received at Brill it was painted in Midland Red livery like Brill No. 1. Similarly, it had a spark arrester, Wallace's draw gear, and the same design of speed control governor.

From 1st December, 1899, the Metropolitan Railway took over the lease and running of the Tramway and purchased the rolling stock. The two relatively new 0-6-0ST's, Brill No. 1 and Wotton No. 2 were bought from Earl Temple and the older Wotton No. 1 from the O & A T Co. This latter engine was in a poor condition and its disposal details have been given earlier but the other two Manning, Wardles were kept at work until they were replaced by the Metropolitan Railway's introduction of their 2-4-0T's, D Class, in 1903 and 1904.

The history of Brill No. 1, MW 1249, shows that it returned to contractors work about 1913 when it was owned by the firm Frank Hayes. They used the engine on the construction of the Great West Road. Later it was sold to Messrs. Kirk and Randall of Bromborough Dock on the east side of the Wirral peninsula.

Wotton No. 2 MW 1415, also returned to the rough and tumble of civil engineering life. It was sold to C J Wills Ltd, of Chadwell Heath, near Romford, Essex and finally ended its working days with the contractors, Holland, Hannah and Cubitts Ltd. Any further particulars of these engines and the dates of their scrapping would be very welcome.

(to be continued)

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J R F Collection - Manning, Wardle No. 616

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Courtesy London Transport - Manning, Wardle No. 1249

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J R F Collection - Manning, Wardle No. 1415

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E Course Collection - Typical Station Reconstruction of 1894

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1976 and so does not reflect events in the 39+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

The Wotton Tramway: Rise and Fall Part 10 - The Manning, Wardle Saddle Tanks - Quainton News No. 27 - Spring 1976

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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