It is almost 3½ years since Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, Barton Wright ‘Ironclad’ 0-6-0 No. 957 (BR 52044), last steamed and it will not have gone unnoticed that we are fast approaching the 50th anniversary of the making of the iconic film ‘The Railway Children’, a film in which No. 957 achieved immortality as ‘The Green Dragon’.
The locomotive is now owned by the ‘Bowers 957 Trust’ and agreement has been reached to start the restoration process. A preliminary investigation of the locomotive’s condition was encouraging but until some dismantling had been done it was not possible to predict the full extent (and therefore cost) of the work required. During its recent period of display at Oxenhope, a considerable amount of preventive maintenance took place and certain fittings removed and placed in safe storage. It is anticipated that 957 will move to Haworth in early July for dismantling to begin in earnest.
Currently there are no major obstacles envisaged to the restoration of 957 to active service, although, where steam locomotives are concerned, one never knows what actually lies beneath what is visible to the eye.
More details of the project will appear in due course in the Society’s quarterly magazine, Push & Pull.