Unique Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway ‘Ironclad’ No. 957 is set for a return to steam at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in 2020 – to mark the 50th anniversary of its starring role as ‘the Green Dragon’ in the much-loved film The Railway Children.
Currently on static display in Oxenhope museum, the 1887-built Barton Wright 0-6-0 is expected to move to Haworth during July for dismantling work to commence. A preliminary inspection, carried out following its last steaming on January 20 2013, showed it to be “in very sound condition overall” and the plan is to undertake as much of the work as possible in-house.
Its owning group, the Bowers 957 Trust, already has funds in the bank from the locomotive’s earnings during its last ten-year stint, as well as donations to start the overhaul – although further fundraising may still be necessary later in the process.
Recent changes to the trust’s composition have seen John Sagar (also a member of the City of Wells support crew) Mike Curtis and Chris Lawson taking over as trustees from Roger Bowers, David Pearson and the late Mike Goodall. Anyone interesting in assisting the project can contact Mike Curtis via Haworth station (01535 645214).
The trust was formed in 1997 to purchase the locomotive from Tony Cox (who had originally saved it for preservation in 1965) and to carry out its previous overhaul, after which it returned to steam in 2002.