North Cornwall Train Restored

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Owner goes loco for long-lost locomotive nameplate

Romantic holidays with a loved one often offers a destination for reminiscing, but a different kind of Cornish accommodation had been storing a love of a different kind for one local north Cornwall resident. Until now it has been missing the final touch to her restoration project… Dorothea the small steam locomotive was originally stored in a shed after 41 years of working in a Welsh quarry until 1942.

The trusty work-horse was left and forgotten, until eventually the shed storing her simply collapsed around. It was thought that there was no way she’d run again after having parts removed to maintain other similar trains.

Fortunately, in 1970, steam enthusiast Dave Walker bought the remains, and slowly succeeded in reacquiring various missing components.

However, still remaining unrestored, it was Kay Bowman, of the Launceston Steam Railway who happened to of bought her in 1989, and this signalled the start of bringing this steam engine back up to running order.

2011 saw her restored in time to celebrate the locomotive's 110th anniversary. Sadly though, the brass nameplates, work plates and fittings had long since gone, and replicas had to be used. Until now. A man from South Wales helping an elderly person with some clearing up when he stumbled across the original plates.

It was phone call to the railway that confirmed the identity of the plate. A shell-shocked Kay said: "I am delighted that another piece of Dorothea's history is in place. When the plate was removed we don't know, but there are clear marks from where it was chiselled off the cab side.

"But for the keen eyes of the gentleman concerned, the plate would have been scrapped and we would never have known.

"We are most grateful that he took the trouble to identify the plate and contact us."

The reunited locomotive and plate will be on display at the railway when it is next open over half-term week, October 27 to November 1.
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