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Peter Pan

Peter Pan was built by Kerr Stuart & Co Ltd of Stoke on Trent in 1922 for use on a construction project in Essex. It was to their standard “Wren” type design, the smallest locomotive in their catalogue and was intended for use as a contractors locomotive. 

Peter Pan at Woody BayPeter Pan near bridge 67

1925, work was starting on the “Parracombe Deviation” and the County Surveyor, Mr R. M. Stone, was looking for some economical motive power. He bought 2 of the “Wren” locomotives for £525 the pair. Presumably impressed with his purchase, he bought 2 more. A 2’ gauge railway was built down from the nearby Beacon Down Quarry, across the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway and along to the site of the new road. At least two of the “Wren “ locos were used together with a Ruston No 6 steam Navvy. The Parracombe deviation opened in 1927.

In 1929 R.M. Stone was looking to increase the output of the roadstone quarry at Wilminstone near Tavistock and bought 2 more of the R.H. Neal locos from the dealer Thos.W Ward who had acquired them on completion of the Essex contract. These became No.113 Pixie and No.114 Peter Pan.

Around 1950, but it is not known exactly when, Peter Pan was transferred to Beacon Down to deputise for the Ruston & Hornsby diesel loco that normally worked there but was in need of repair. However it can not have been used for long, indeed no one can remember it being used at all, because by 1951 it was standing derelict and remained so until bought for preservation in 1959.

Peter Pan as it was when recovered from Beacon Down Quarry, 1959.

Nowadays the loco is privately owned and based at the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway but follows in its tradition of being frequently moved from site to site as necessary. There are few narrow gauge railways that it has not visited but the journey to the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway’s Woody Bay Station at Easter 2005 was its first return to the Parracombe area since it left Beacon Down Quarry 45 years ago.

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