This 0-6-0 side tank engine was built by Hudswell Clarke & Co Ltd in Leeds to order by G & T Earle Ltd. At the cost of £2860, with works number 1704, it was completed in December 1938, displaying its name Nunlow.
The engine was delivered to Earle’s cement works at Hope in Derbyshire to operate its single-track branch line. This two-mile line had been completed in 1929 to service the then-recently completed works and was connected to the LMS Railway’s Hope Valley route between Manchester and Sheffield.
The engine took its name from Nun Low, the hill that was subsequently excavated to became Pindale Quarry.
Nunlow, together with 0-6-0 saddle tank, Winhill, were used to bring in 350-ton trains of coal, gypsum and other goods and take out 21 vans of bagged cement. About ten daily trains were run to and from the exchange sidings with the LMS main line.
The arrival of Rolls-Royce-powered Sentinel diesel locomotives in 1963 signalled the end of steam operation at Hope. Nunlow was relegated for use in the works yard and, in 1968 became surplus to requirements and was put up for sale.
Earle’s, by that time part of Associated Portland Cement, accepted an offer of £500 from the Bahamas Locomotive Society, and the engine moved to the recently opened Dinting Railway Centre near Glossop.
The engine arrived on 1st April, in time for preparations for the Society’s first Easter Steam Weekend two weeks later. It proved popular with the public as it operated alongside the Society’s larger exhibit, the ‘Jubilee’ Class express locomotive Bahamas. It was the first industrial tank locomotive to arrive at Dinting and was soon put into regular service by providing footplate rides for visitors each Sunday throughout that summer.
Following the site’s closure at Dinting in 1990, Nunlow spent the summer on loan to the Swanage Railway in Dorset. It then moved to the Society’s new home at Ingrow where, following the completion of the Society’s museum in May 2003, it became one of the major exhibits.
In 2005, the engine was invited to return to its former home at Hope, now operated by Lafarge Cement UK, as a significant exhibit during a public open weekend. Although the engine could not work, it created such interest that a further invitation was received for a return visit in September 2008 with the suggestion that it may once more operate in the works yard.
Following the overhaul, its first appearance was in June 2008 for the 40th-anniversary event to celebrate the opening of the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. This was followed in September by its return visit to Hope, where it was able to take passengers along part of the Pindale Railway route.
The engine is awaiting a boiler overhaul before it can return to steam and is currently on view in the museum.