The Heritage Railway Association Morgan Preservation Award was won by the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway, and the Shredded Wheat locomotive at a virtual event on 28th April.
The 1934 diesel mechanical 0-4-0 locomotive was built for the Shredded Wheat Company’s Welwyn Garden City factory by Fowler of Leeds. After falling out use it was eventually bought in a very decrepit state by Mr. Tony Goff, who took it to brothers Neal and Nigel Davis for restoration at their works near Attleborough in Norfolk.
Neal and Nigel, who are both members and volunteers at the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway and, by general consent, in charge of the Middy’s diesel fleet due to their enthusiasm and expertise for all things internal combustion, set to to return the rusting hulk into working locomotive again.
After only 6 months work and the support of owner Tony, ‘Shreddie’ was delivered in full working order to the Brockford headquarters of the Middy, where it has remained ever since as a valued member of the railway’s motive power complement. It is now usually to be found heading the works train whenever help is need on track or trackside maintenance and, more recently, engaged on the MSLR extension project. It has also now been fitted with vacuum brakes and can be used on passenger trains, although as Neal said, ‘It is so low geared it might be quicker to walk!”
Owner Tony is absolutely delighted that his engine has become an award winner, but quick to give credit to the Middy team for their skill and the opportunity for proper work the railway provides for ‘Shreddie’.