10th February 2019 saw the arrival of Irchester No.9 at the Northampton and Lamport Railway.

The engine’s new owner has relocated her from the Rushden Historic Transport Society in order to begin dismantling and inspection, ready for restoration to working condition.

Built in 1952 (Works No.2323), the engine was supplied new to Lackenby, near Grangetown, in the same year and was given the number 6.

In April 1964 the engine was relocated to Irchester Quarries, Northamptonshire. There was already an engine carrying the number 6 at Irchester, so the 0-4-0’s number plate was simply turned upside down to create the number 9, which it carried until withdrawal in July 1969.

Following closure of the quarries the engine was donated to Irchester Parish Council and was displayed in the village recreation ground from August of the same year.

In June 1979 the loco was moved to Wicksteed Park in Kettering, Northamptonshire, where it became the highlight of the childrens’ playground. After 13 years on display the engine was moved again to the Rushden Historical Transport Society in August 1992, where it remained unrestored until the present day.

The owner hopes to return the engine to working order in around 10 years, but a full inspection is yet to be carried out. It is planned to return as No.9, the number it carried at Irchester, but the livery is yet to be determined.

Anyone interested in the restoration can follow the Facebook page ‘Andrew Barclay 2323 Restoration’: https://www.facebook.com/Andrew-Barclay-2323-Restoration-334194110472115/