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Colliery Lines

Newdigate Colliery: misc_newd278

North British 0-6-0ST 'Coventry No 1' is seen standing next to the spoil heaps at Newdigate Colliery in 1965

North British 0-6-0ST 'Coventry No 1' is seen standing next to the spoil heaps at Newdigate Colliery in 1965. Coventry No 1 was built by North British Locomotive Company to a Neilson Reid design at Hyde Park Works in 1939, and was part of an order for two identical locos, North British Locomotive Company No 24563 and No 24564, for Coltness Iron Co. Ltd. Locomotive No 24563 went to their Newmains works, Lanarkshire, and was used there until sold for scrap in 1963. Locomotive No 24564 was sent to a subsidiary company, Warwickshire Coal Co. Ltd., Coventry Colliery, and was in fact the last steam locomotive sold by North British Locomotive Company to an industrial user in the UK. Ownership passed to the National Coal Board in January 1947, Coventry Colliery becoming part of the No 4 area of the West Midlands Division. In 1962, having been replaced by an ex-British Railways (Western Region) pannier tank, Coventry No 1 entered the NCB workshops at Ansley for a heavy overhaul, including fitting of a new boiler. Serving for a short time as a stationary boiler during the serve winter of 1962-63, it was eventually sent to Newdigate Colliery near Bedworth on 11th October 1963. At Newdigate the 0-6-0T proved very popular with locomotive crews due to its power and free-steaming abilities, but was confined to the colliery yard due to its flangeless centre driving wheels. During 1965, Coventry No 1 was transferred to Haunchwood Colliery, returning to Newdigate once more in June 1967. Due to the introduction of smokeless-zone restrictions and the arrival of diesel shunters at Newdigate, Coventry No 1 was little used and in December 1970 the loco was sold to the Quainton Railway Society. Movement to Quainton took place on 18 January 1971 and following minor attention it was used on passenger trains from October 1972.