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Nene Valley Railway, Wansford Station, Stibbington, Peterborough, PE8 6LR

Tel: 01780 784444

As 73050 languished in the closed shed at Patricroft, over 150 miles away a far sighted man had an idea. He was Reverend Richard Paten and his idea was that the long-standing association that his home city, Peterborough, had with railways should be acknowledged so that future generations would be able to understand how the city grew in the 19th and 20th centuries.

His first concept was to buy a steam locomotive and have it placed on a plinth outside a new ‘Transport Interchange Centre’ being planned for the rapidly growing city.  Later this developed into a position for the loco outside the city’s Technical College.

Rev. Paten was first and foremost a man of action. He arranged to visit one of the few remaining steam depots (remember, this was the very week that BR ran its last steam-hauled train, the 15 Guinea Special) His record of that day is shown on the right.

Satisfied that he was getting the best available, he paid the asking price, about the cost of an average house and returned home to arrange reception.

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Quite remarkably, BR allowed the loco to be moved under her own power from Manchester (she’d been moved to Newton Heath depot) to Peterborough, arriving 20 minutes to midnight on the 19th September 1968. Rev Paten and friends visited New England shed to inspect the purchase the next day.

Looking reasonably clean (but still with the off-centre lamp bracket!) The arrival attracted attention from local and national press.

Richard’s own notes are preserved and they can be seen below.

Very matter-of-fact “My Loco … arrived in Peterboro’ last night”.  About half a diary page is how much the new acquisition warranted.



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Who is this ?

At BSC

At BSC

With Thomas at BSC

John Maxwell and Roger Manns, in PRS jacket.  Loco has no number and is painted unlined black. On the footplate is Peter Bools.

At an unidentified location (do you recognise the building in the background?), 73050 is in steam.

The vehicle behind the tender is the ex-GNR six-wheel Passenger Brake built in 1897.  It moved from the NVR to Quainton road in 2003, where it can still be seen.

Obviously there was no need for hi-vis at the trackside in those days although two ladies on the right do not merge into the background at all.

A head-on view in newly-painted condition and now boasting a 34E (New England) shed code.  Just vacuum brake and steam heat pipes on show, so this is pre-Brotherhood overhaul.

Until 1923, the three lamps would have indicated a through goods train but in BR days this is an incorrect placing, in fact BR only ever used two lamps for headcodes.

From Rev Paten’s collection and shown here courtesy of Railworld’s Brian Pearce. The loco comes to the rescue of hosts British Sugar while their boiler house was out of commission following an explosion.