Peter’s back on track!

Posted by Chris Graham on 21st October 2020

The Amberley Museum, W Sussex, is delighted to report that the fund-raising needed for the renovation of narrow-gauge loco Peter, is on track

Peter's back on track!

Bagnall Peter celebrating his centenary at a rail gala in 2018. (Pic: Amberley Museum)

Over half the money has now been raised for the boiler repairs and overhaul needed by Amberley Museum’s Bagnall 2ft gauge locomotive, Peter, the total cost of which is expected to be over £40,000.

As well as many private donations, major contributions have been received from Accucraft UK Ltd, which kindly donated one of its 7/8in/ft-scale Bagnall saddle tank models for the museum to sell by sealed bid auction. Other important donations have been received from Cliffe Hill Quarry, where Peter once worked and the Narrow Gauge Railway Society.

The £22,000 raised so far has enabled work to start on the boiler repairs. The condemned barrel has been removed, and the new one is now ready to be installed. Work has also started on the firebox and, once new boiler tubes have been fitted, the regulator valve will be repaired and then all the internal pipework will be refitted. In the meantime, the rest of the engine has been stripped for assessment.

Built by WG Bagnall of Stafford as No 2067 in 1918, the engine was originally commissioned by the War Office for the Canadian Forestry Corps in Longtown, Cumbria. After several owners, it was purchased by the Cliffe Hill Granite Co in Leicestershire, in 1922, where it worked until 1949. It’s believed that it was during this time that Peter was named after the owner’s son.

In 1954, Peter was acquired by the Narrow Gauge Railway Society and, eventually, joined the Brockham Collection in 1965. Peter was moved to Amberley in 1982, when the two collections were amalgamated. After a lengthy restoration project, led by Doug Bentley and members of the Amberley Rail Group, Peter became operational in 1994, and has been one of the mainstays of its steam railway operation ever since.

Amberley Museum also received emergency funding from Arts Council England at the end of April, to assist with essential costs during the lockdown period in May, June and July. Anyone who feels able to help further can do so by visiting the Just Giving page by clicking here

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