Steam Locomotives of a more Leisurely Era
Shropshire & Montgomery No.6 Thisbe in 1926. H.C.Casserley
Eight engines constructed by Beyer Peacock & Co. between 1873 and 1880 to the order of W.G.Beattie for working the steeply graded Barnstaple – Ilfracombe line, then newly opened. They were of Beyer Peacock’s standard design of the period, a distinctive feature being that the dome, with Salter spring balance safety valves, was placed over the firebox. The semi-open splashers were embellished with the makers’ handsome brass plates.Shropshire & Montgomeryshire Railway0-6-0 Ilfracombe Goods loco, Thisbe. J.H.L.Adams
The numbers were 282-4, 300, 301, 324, 393 and 394, eventually placed on the duplicate list as 0282, etc. The first six were rebuilt by Adams between 1888 and 1890 with normal domed boilers and increased working pressure. Nos. 0301 and 0393 were broken up in 1905, but all the others were bought by Colonel Stephens between 1910 and 1918 for use on some of his light railways, No. 282 (latterly the engine had been renumbered 0349) and 0284 going to the Kent and East Sussex as Nos. 7Rother and 9 Juno. Nos. 0283, 0300 and 0324 became Shropshire & Montgomery Nos. 6 Thisbe, 5 Pyramus and 3 Hesperus, whilst the unrebuilt engine, No.0394, which remained in its original condition to the end, went to the East Kent Railway, on which line it became known as No.3. All of these engines disappeared during the 1930s except S & M Thisbe, which lasted until 1941.
The late Colonel Stephens showed a marked inclination towards the London & South Western Railway’s ‘Ilfracombe Goods’ 0-6-0s when he was seeking a further locomotive for his light railway empire. At least three, Pyramus, Thisbe and Hesperus, went to the Shropshire & Montgomeryshire, and the Kent & East Sussex found a home for yet another, No.3 Juno, here ambling through the Rother meadows close to the castle towers of Bodiam on 14th March, 1931. H.C.Casserley.