Issue Date: 20/02/2014
Issue Name: Classic Locos of Wales: W&LLR No.822 'The Earl'
Producer: Buckingham Covers
The Earl is a narrow gauge steam locomotive built by Beyer Peacock & Co. Ltd. at the Gorton Foundry, Manchester in 1902. It was delivered new to the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway in 1902, where it continues to run today.
This cover was NOT reserved for club members as it is a special extra edition
The Earl - a quick history
The 2 ft 6 in (760 mm) Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway was opened on 4 April 1903 to aid economic development in a remote area, never making a profit. It was originally operated by the Cambrian Railways, connecting with it at the former Oswestry and Newtown Railway station in the town of Welshpool. The line was built through difficult country, having a great number of curves in order to reach the summit of 600 ft (180 m). This meant that the engines had to be built to a compact and sturdy design capable of handling trains on the steep gradients.
The engines built to these specifications were No.1 The Earl and No.2 The Countess. They were both delivered new, to the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway.
The locomotives were named in honour of the Earl and Countess of Powis as the Earl did much to support the construction of the railway. In the Great Western era, The Countess's name was changed to Countess.
The Earl and Countess ran the line from 1903 until closure of the railway in 1956. The engines were overhauled at Oswestry Works and were sent there on closure of the railway.
By 1959 negotiations had begun with British Railways and the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway Preservation Company had leased the line from British Railways by the end of 1962. On 28 July 1961, The Earl returned after storage and overhaul at Oswestry Works, with Countess following not long after. They have continued to work on the line ever since.
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Sir John Wigston is a member of the Guild of Railway Artists and has signed this lovely cover for us