Manning Wardle Locos

When it became clear that the late Victorian light railway movement was having extreme difficulty in raising capital to build and equip lines, the locomotive construction industry lost interest in manufacturing specialised light railway locomotives. With a very limited availability of suitable second-hand locomotives from the main line companies, the few railways that had been built turned to the large pool of small but sturdily built contractor and industrial locomotives. Some concluded that the six-coupled saddle tanks built over many years by the Manning, Wardle company of Leeds were adequate for them. Stephens certainly preferred mainline or new locomotives but eventually succumbed.

The Manning, Wardle Company had its origins in the old and well respected Railway Foundry, Leeds and had early adopted the light saddle tank as its standard product. It built to standard patterns which were given class designations. The smallest 0-6-0STs were given the designation 'I' having 11” x17” cylinders. Later called 'Old I' when the 'I' class designation was given to a class of 0-4-0STs, the type evolved into the slightly larger 'K' class with12”x17” cylinders and a marginally longer boiler barrel. It should be said that these class designations became somewhat mixed in the maker's records; of a total of over eighty 'Old I' built for standard gauge no less than twenty nine were actually built with 12in diameter cylinders. Manufacture of the 'Old I' was largely confined to the 1860s. The 'K's were built over 1864-1914 period, during which over two hundred and fifty examples were built.

The principal dimensions of the type are given below

Cylinders (Diameter x Stroke): 12in. x 17in. (old 'I' 11”x17”)

Wheel Diameter: 3ft. 1 ½ in.

Wheelbase: 5ft. 5in.+ 5ft. 4in. ( Old 'I' 5ft. 5in +4ft. 10in. )

Boiler Details –

Diameter: 2ft. 9in.

Length: 7ft. 9in (Old 'I' 7ft 3in)

Total Heating Surface: 370 sq. ft (Old 'I' 345sq. ft)

Pressed to 120 lbs. per sq. in

Water Tank Capacity: 450 gallons (Old 'I' 420 gallons)

Length over Buffer Beams: 19ft. 0in (Old 'I' 18ft. 6in)

Width over Buffer Beams: 7ft. 2in.

Height (Rail to Chimney Top): 9ft. 11 in. nominal (Old 'I' 9ft. 9 in.)

Weight empty: 15 tons 10cwt.

Weight loaded: 16tons 11 cwt.

This design became perhaps the classic six-coupled contractors' engine, though significant numbers were sold to coal companies whilst a small number of others went to cement, lime, brick, waterworks or mining companies. Also some were originally supplied new to ‘light’ railway companies including the Van Railway, the Oxford & Aylesbury Tramway and the Isle of Axholme Light Railway


The oldest of Stephens' Manning Wardles was acquired by the Selsey Tramway early in 1907. It was a much-travelled Manning, Wardle & Co. of Leeds standard 'Old Class I', Works No. 21 of January 1861.

The locomotive was built for Messrs. J. & J. Charlesworth of Rothwell Haigh Colliery, 3 miles southeast of Leeds, who reputedly named their acquisition 'Henrietta'. They later sold it to the East & West Yorkshire Union Railway, which connected a number of Charlesworth's collieries with the Great Northern Railway near Ardsley. They in turn passed it on to Messrs Meaking & Dram, contractors of Birkenhead. It was probably in 1897 that she moved on again to enter service with the United Minera Mining Company at their lead mines in Wrexham, North Wales. Here she still carried her name on plates on the cab side sheets, and on the bunker side was a Hawthorn Leslie works plate suggesting that she had been overhauled by that Company at some time. The cab had no rear weatherboard, just pillars above the bunker, ribbed-pattern buffers with a pair of metal-faced wooden dumb buffers in between, a plain stovepipe chimney and a hideous mounting, perhaps in substitution for a dome carrying the safety valves. She was described by the mining company as 'in poor condition' in February 1899 and it was from there that she most likely went on to Herbert Weldon's contract for the Congresbury - Blagdon railway (1899-1901). When offered for sale by Weldon c1903 she was advertised as a 'nice 6 wheel coupled Manning Wardle, just rebuilt by Hawthorn Leslie'. Her last posting was to Blagdon Waterworks, near Bristol, after which she received another thorough overhaul when the four wooden brake blocks were replaced by iron ones working on all six wheels, and more or less standard Manning, Wardle front and rear weatherboards were provided. The Hawthorn Leslie works plates had been removed by the time the locomotive arrived at Selsey, so this last overhaul was probably carried out by Manning Wardle.

Sidlesham at Chichester

The Tramways Company paid £352 15s 1d for the locomotive which they named 'Sidlesham'. As delivered, she looked extremely smart in her 'North Eastern Railway' livery of green with black bands and white lining and her new name carried on brass name plates with raised letters on a black background fitted centrally on either side of her saddle tank. The stovepipe chimney had been replaced by a graceful copper-capped one but she had hand brakes only and there were no water gauges. After a couple of years in service that sanding gear was provided. By the beginning of 1910, she may have been re-boilered; acquiring the customary neat Manning, Wardle fittings with brass covered safety valves tanks and a more modern dished smokebox door.

The cab, giving little protection from the side winds prevalent in the flat Selsey landscape, had been supplemented by 1917 with a wooden structure, though this was lost in the next few years. Her age was beginning to tell and she now saw intermittent service. In the mid 1920s Sidlesham was photographed in a partly dismembered state on the scrap siding at Selsey, but re-entered service to be finally scrapped in 1932.



The second oldest of Stephens' Manning Wardles was unusual in that it was actually owned, rather than simply ran, on two Stephens railways, the Shropshire & Montgomeryshire and the Selsey.

Morous was an 'Old I' locomotive built in 1866 ( Works No. 178), originally named 'Crampton', which commenced her career with contractors T R Crampton, for the construction of the East & West Junction Railway between Fenny Compton and Kineton in Warwickshire. Although there is some doubt about actual ownership, the E & WJR ran the engine from 1871 as their No 1. At some time in her early career she may have carried the name Kineton and was advertised for sale under that name in April 1874 after which she was removed to work in a quarry. Returning in 1877 she stayed to become known by the nickname 'The Little Kineton', though not carrying the name. In 1902 it was reported that in 1896 she was provided with a new boiler, cylinders and smokebox and although the smokebox was undoubtedly modified there remains some doubt that all such work was undertaken. Although the E&W was a Westinghouse air-braked line, vacuum brakes were fitted at some time, presumably to permit its use with carriages from other lines. At some time after 1904, new 12” x 19” cylinders, eccentric straps and sheaves were fitted, causing the boiler to be raised some 4”, leaving the front of the cab short of the lower cab sheeting by a similar amount. She became the Stratford-on-Avon & Midland Junction Railway’s No. 1 when that Company was created by the amalgamation of several small local lines, including the E & WJR, in 1908.

The Shropshire & Montgomeryshire Light Railway had opened to traffic in April, 1911, but was initially short of locomotives. Stephens had good connections with the owners of the SMJR and No. 1 was hurriedly hired from them, the Company’s accounts showing a hire fee of £22 10s. 0d. paid on 30th June that year. The Locomotive in June, 1911 advised that 'the small 0-6-0 saddle tank locomotive No.1 of the Stratford & Midland Junction Railway has been acquired by purchase' and an entry of £300 in the S&MR’s Locomotive Renewal Account dated 30th June, 1911 may well be the purchase money. The two new Hawthorne Leslie engines were to have carried the numbers “4” and “5”, but as they were delayed, the Manning, Wardle veteran was given the former number instead, along with the name 'Morous'. Still in the Stratford-on-Avon & Midland Junction Railway’s dark red livery, lined in yellow and black, her new name was painted centrally on either side of the saddle tank inside a double oval in which the name of the new Company was displayed. Later, brass name plates were affixed slightly above the painted name, which remained visible below, so an overall coat of paint, probably black or holly green, was applied to the whole engine.

Morous at Selsey

The locomotive found useful employment in the reconstruction of the Criggion Branch, but with her limited fuel carrying capacity, she was hardly suitable for working the 18 mile main line between Shrewsbury and Llanymynech and the stone traffic on the Criggion Branch was probably too heavy for her. Reportedly unpopular with the staff, she seems to have been withdrawn from service in 1921 to receive a prolonged overhaul, including a new firebox. In November, 1924 she was evidentially given a 'free transfer' to the Selsey Tramway for there are no existing records of rental payments. Morous seems to have been forgotten in Shropshire until after Stephens' death when the S&MR Board Meeting on 4th November, 1931 gave William Austen authority “to sell this engine at the best possible price, subject to a minimum price of £50, this sum to include part charges for hire, etc.” The Tramway (by then technically the West Sussex Railway), made an offer of £50 on 16th December but the S&MLR still tried to get £60 for the locomotive. The impoverished WSR regretted they could not afford this and the S&MLR agreed on 22nd February, 1932 to accept £50, payable in 6 monthly payments of £8 6s. 8d. The first payment was made on 8th April, 1932, but it was not until 1st June, 1933 that the Sussex line completed the purchase of the engine.

'Morous' was well liked in Sussex and regularly worked the “mixed” trains until that line closed to all traffic on 19th January, 1935. Having worked the demolition trains, she was broken up at Selsey in the autumn of 1936.

Ringing Rock at Selsey shed


Holman Stephens was partial to classical names and used the name 'Hecate' on at least three engines on his railways. In the collection of photographs handed down from Stephens' office, and now in the care of the Museum, is seemingly a works photograph of a Manning, Wardle engine named Hecate. This is something of a mystery as otherwise the locomotive does not appear to be associated with him and never seems to have run on any of his lines.

The engine concerned was a standard 'Old I' class 0-6-0ST (Works No 50) delivered new to J T Leather of Waterloo Main Colliery near Leeds in June 1862. It was sold in 1872 to Robert T Relf a contractor based at Okehampton for building of the Okehampton – Lydford. Named 'Alfred' it worked on construction of other lines in the area until the London & South Western Railway purchased it in December 1879. At some time it acquired the name 'Lady Portsmouth' and was employed on construction work and other light shunting work, with a short spell on the Bodmin and Wadebridge. For extended periods from 1897 to 1909, it appears to have been on loan to the independent Lee on Solent Light Railway. During this time, but at some time after 1902 when it acquired the duplicate number 0392, it acquired solid disc wheels. Such wheels are a rare feature on any such locomotive and the only other known use by Manning, Wardle on an 0-6-0 was on the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway's No 5 (see below). 0392 probably left the Lee-on-Solent in 1909 when the LSWR took over its direct operation using railmotors.


This Class K locomotive was supplied new to Messrs J C Billups of Cardiff by Manning, Wardle on 2nd May 1883 as Works No. 890, named 'Vida'. Later she worked for Messrs Pauling & Co. as their No 7, her last contract for them being towards the end of 1915 to assist in the construction of the extensive sidings at the Royal Naval munitions depot known as H M Skipton Magazine at Salterforth on the Yorkshire/Lancashire border. With that work completed, it seems that the Government kept the engine there for shunting duties. At the end of WW1 it was one of a number of miscellaneous locomotives left on government hands. Having previously been offered to twenty prospective customers, No. 890 was eventually purchased by Holman Stephens in 1922 for use on the Selsey Tramway, although it was to remain his personal property.

Soon after arrival in Sussex, perhaps to ease the loading of coal, a section of the cab roof was removed and the rear weatherboard was moved forward to a position halfway across the bunker. With her livery believed to have been unlined dark blue, she was named Ringing Rock, with nameplates transferred from the K&ESR Manning, Wardle loco that had previously carried that name. Serving the Company to the end, Ringing Rock was last steamed on 24th January 1935. As the property of Stephens' heirs she was then left, together with the chassis of the Shefflex railmotor and its baggage truck, on the transfer siding head shunt at Chichester, to be broken up on site in July 1935.



Weston when newly arrived at the WC&P

According to Bradley, 0392 was withdrawn by the LSWR in December 1913. It was purchased in January 1914 for £100 by the Bute Works Supply Company Ltd (with whom Stephens made several deals around this time). He reported that it was immediately resold to the War Department in May 1914 for service at Tidworth Army Camp. However more recent research sold it in May 1914, according to the builder's order book to the Shropshire & Montgomeryshire, though subsequently the order book shows it with the WC&P. The S&MLR attribution is almost certainly a misunderstanding due to Stephens' multiple company letterheads; an oft repeated confusion, and it may be that it then ran on the WC&P. The Manning Wardle order book then records that in January 1916 it was rebuilt by them. They gave it a very extensive overhaul; almost a rebuil, involving a new boiler and fittings pitched higher than the original and acquired a short stovepipe chimney of a style favoured by Stephens in this period. It was noted that very little of the original Works No. 50 remained. It was at this stage it acquired the name 'Hecate' and may well have painted royal blue with white and black lining. This process transformed the Hecate's appearance and she became the relatively modern engine appearing in Stephens’ photograph. It may be that it was at the builder's works and requisitioned for military use, as was the case with several other locomotives on their builders later in the year. However it may have  returned to the WC&P in its new form as Bristol builder Avonside Engine supplied spares to the WC&P for locomotive ‘Jumbo’ in February 1917, a scrapped sister engine to our mysterious Hecate when she was on the LSWR, but this is by no means definitive.

At some point it did go to Tidworth and Bradley records that at Tidworth the engine was in continuous service until about mid-1928 but in October 1928 it was noted derelict in a siding at Tidworth station. In April 1929 it was apparently sold for scrap to George Cohen Sons & Company Ltd. of Neath. It was observed there in December 1933 and advertised for sale at this time but was probably scrapped soon thereafter.


This was a Manning, Wardle K class built in 1890, Works Number 1134 that had been bought by the Weston, Clevedon & Portishead before Stephens took over management of that railway.


It was first delivered to Logan and Hemingway, a notable firm of contractors, as their No 11 for use on the construction of the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Derbyshire lines, the first stage of their London extension. In 1898 she was sold to another firm of contractors, Naylor Bros, who used her on the construction of the Ashbourne and Parsley Hay line of the London & North Western Railway which was built between 1896 and 1899. She then passed into the hands of Jackson & Co of Stowmarket, probably in 1900, who were contractors for the WC&P's Portishead extension which was built between 1905 and 1907. Short of motive power when the extension was opened the company purchased the locomotive. She had the distinction of hauling the first scheduled train to Portishead, which might account for the continuance of a much used name for she was the third locomotive on the line to be so named. She seems to have worked without much comment into and through Stephens' period of oversight. In May 1914 she was fitted with an extended back to her coal bunker and Stephens' thumbprint came to be clearly seen in the special replacement stovepipe chimney fitted by Avonside in March 1916, during the short period when Stephens favoured such things.

Worn out by 1925 with leaking tubeplate she was laid aside till sold, going into contracting service supposedly for £125. Reputedly Albert Sharpe and Stan Plumley were sent up to sell the engine to the contractor William Cowlin of Stratton, Bristol for work on the construction of the new Portishead power station, which started in 1926. They reputedly settled for £100, with £1 for themselves for a drink; a rather pretty story. The contractor somehow kept her going, but she was laid aside when the power station was completed in 1929 and lasted till 1931 when she was scrapped.


Another locomotive inherited by Stephens when he took the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead under his wing, Weston was larger than the types so far described.

It was originally of Manning Wardle's standard L class 0-6-0ST Works No. 731, built in 1881. The L class had the following principal dimensions

Cylinders (Diameter x Stroke): 12in. x 18in. (Weston uniquely had M class cylinders 13in x 18in)

Wheel Diameter: 3ft. 0 in.

Wheelbase: 5ft. 0in.+ 5ft. 6in

Boiler Details –

Diameter: 3ft. 2in.

Length: 8ft. 2in

Total Heating Surface: 465 sq. ft 

Pressed to 140 lbs. per sq. in

Water Tank Capacity: 475 gallons

Length over Buffer Beams: 20ft. 3in

Width over Buffer Beams: 7ft. 1in.

Height (Rail to Chimney Top): 11ft. 5 in. nominal

Weight empty: 17 tons 6cwt.

Weight loaded: 20tons 11 cwt.

Originally named 'Resolute' she went to contractor J. M. Smith of Bury in May 1881. Subsequent owners were contractors Gabbutt & Owen of Huddersfield, then in about 1886 Ynyscedwyn Colliery, Breconshire. In 1894 she went to the Burry Port & Gwendraeth Valley Railway, where she became No. 7 'Cwm Mawr'. In April 1905 she was sold to the Avonside Engineering Co in part payment (£200) for a new locomotive to which she bequeathed her name. Avonside extensively overhauled the locomotive. It was fitted with an enlarged cab which took in the coal-bunker, the saddle-tank was extended to the front of the smokebox and an ugly stovepipe chimney fitted. This gave the locomotive quite a different appearance from the original, though the cab was of Manning Wardle's later style. Painted red-brown, she was completed in 1906 and sold to the WC&PR. For some time she ran without name or number, but in 1907 was given the oval 'Weston' brass nameplates previously carried by a 2-2-2WT. These were subsequently removed and replaced by a pair of small cast-iron ones on the cab-sides, one of which is now in the Colonel Stephens Museum. In 1921 the firebox was replaced by a new copper one and at the same time the back of the cab moved forward so that the coal-bunker was now outside it, although still covered by the cab roof. Peckett's of Bristol overhauled the engine sometime in the 1920s, and by then she had been repainted in light green with elaborate red and yellow lining.

Weston was, in the opinion of the staff, the best engine on the line until the arrival of the Terriers and was principal stand-by after they came. Latterly her performance was considerably reduced by serious leaks. Around 1937 one traveller described her as 'a painful sight to watch: the whole engine was "on the jiggle", the cylinder-block shifting in the frame and the smokebox, tank, buffer-beam and footplating obviously loose at the bolts and rivets'. Another observed that the crew always seemed to stand on the outside of the footplate when working Weston, and when he enquired why they told him that they were always afraid of a boiler blow-back. In late 1937 her firebox was repaired, but soon after returning to service the main steam-pipe to the cylinders burst and she was not used again, being scrapped at Clevedon in 1940.

No. 5

No 5

Only the second new locomotive to be owned by the WC&PR arrived on18th April 1919. This was Manning, Wardle 0-6-0 saddle-tank works No 1970, which became No 5 on the railway, but never carried a name. She was an 'L' but differed by having deeper frames, a larger 650 gallon water tank and, notably, steel disc wheels, which had apparently been specified by Stephens because their extra weight was thought useful when shunting. In consequence she weighed in at 23 tons 10 cwt. A Gresham's 'dreadnought' ejector, steam brake valve and stovepipe chimney were fitted. The last item fouled the shed roof when the engine arrived at Clevedon and was shortened after a few years. Screw-couplings were added in July 1921, and in June 1927 Kitsons fitted a new firebox-wrapper and backplate which was riveted to the old tubeplate.

Her small disc wheels made her prone to running hot boxes. It was not uncommon to see her enter a station with thick black smoke, or even flames, erupting from below running-plate level. The driver would be seen to jump out and apply liberal doses of tallow before restarting. At one time water was substituted for oil in the boxes, but without success.

No 5 remained in use until the line closed when she was assessed as being in running condition. Her eventual fate is unknown. She was not, unlike virtually all other runable stock, transferred to Swindon. As a workable industrial type locomotive at a time of national emergency it is unlikely that she was immediately scrapped. She was offered to Wilson & Matheson, Scotch Foundry, Armley , Leeds but is unlikely to have gone there and may have been sold to an industrial concern in the Midlands. If she was sold she disappeared without trace in wartime.


This locomotive was a Manning, Wardle 'Q' class works No 630 heavily rebuilt by the Great Western Railway. The full history of this locomotive can be found on this site. [HERE]

Brian Janes