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A rare 2'0" gauge 'Resilient' class 4-wheel diesel mechanical locomotive built by John Fowler, "Peldon" (works number 21295 in 1936). Although the Cliffe works had closed on 1st April 1970, on 24th January 1971 she was still to be found dumped in the quarry near to the connecting tunnel serving the works and was attached to three of the wooden-bodied side tipping wagons. Named "Peldon'" she is the only working example of a 2-ft gauge Fowler 'Resilient' class locomotive. Originally built for the Essex Water Authority for use during the construction of the Abberton Reservoir near Colchester, Essex. "Peldon" is powered by a 40hp Fowler Sanders 4 cylinder engine, No. M443, B series. After the Water Authority had no further use for her, she was sold, with "Layer" (works No.21294) to the Alpha Cement Company, Cliffe-at-Hoo, Kent. She was acquired for preservation by the Brockham Museum Trust, and transferred to Amberley with the Brockham collection in 1982 when the museum closed. The locomotive was acquired in a rundown, derelict state, and was restored by volunteers at Amberley. Some of the side tipping wagons were acquired by Alan Keef limited and modified as covered flat wagons. Some have now been purchased by the Amberley Museum with the intention of restoring them to their original condition. There was no rail link serving the Cliffe Works until 1961, and the plant relied largely on river transport up until then. Because of the vast reserves of alluvium in the Cliffe marshes, it supplied many of the other Thames plants, using water transport. Following closure, the site was largely cleared, and is now occupied by a Brett Aggregates materials processing facility and the rail siding now serves the marine aggregates terminal.
Photo: Mersea Museum - Gordon Edgar
Image ID EDG_003
Category 2 Transport - buses and carriers
This image is part of the Mersea Museum Collection.