Swanage Railway News Gallery - Page 224
Secundus returns to Dorset!
Press Release from The Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum Group - 23rd
Photographs are copyright Andrew P.M. Wright.
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Peter Sills, Chairman of the Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum Group (PMMMG)
has sent us this report of the return of Secundus to Dorset after
almost half a century.
Secundus with the PMMMG team inside Herston works
The PMMMG is a sub group of the Swanage Railway Trust, and the group's remit is
to create a museum associated with ball clay mining in Dorset and other
significant resources extracted in Purbeck, which were intimately connected
with the growth and history of the Swanage Railway. For more information please see
the PMMMG homepage by clicking here
After almost 50 years on display in Birmingham's Museum of Science &
Industry, the unique narrow gauge locomotive Secundus returned to Purbeck on
22nd January to form part of the Purbeck Mineral & Mining Museum. Graham
Feldwick the group's Project Manager has been in long and detailed
negotiations with Jane Arthur, Head of Curatorial Services at the museum, to
secure Secundus on behalf of the Swanage Railway.
Secundus outside Furzebrook loco shed during her working years
Built by the little known company of Bellis & Seekings Ltd in Birmingham in 1874, Secundus
was, not surprisingly, the second steam locomotive to work on the 2ft 8in gauge
Furzebrook Tramway, which connected the pits and mines around Creech to Furzebrook
Works and a wharf at Ridge. Repaired and rebuilt by Stephen Lewin at Poole Foundry
in 1880, and reboilered by Peckett & Sons of Bristol in 1936, Secundus
worked until 1955 when most of the line was replaced by road transport.
Secundus has a most distinctive appearance, being an 0-6-0WT with a marine-type
firebox and outside Stephenson valve gear. The tall chimney, large dome and
outside reversing lever were standard design features of the time, but the
addition of skirting and cow-catchers are thought to have come about from a
literal interpretation of the term 'tramway' - which is this case referred
to the mineral railway across the heaths.
Secundus at Birmingham awaiting loading
Secundus spent her later years shunting around the works, and there
are many photographs of her at this time. She is the sole survivor from the
fleet of 7 locomotives, and was saved by the Birmingham Locomotive Club, who
persuaded the scrap company to donate her for preservation.
Secundus has been made available by Birmingham Museum under an initial
5 year loan agreement, and we are indebted to the museum, and especially the
Head of Curatorial Services Jane Arthur, for arranging this. After preparation
at Herston Works, Secundus will be placed on display at Corfe Castle Goods
Shed Museum in good time for this season, and can be inspected during the
times when the railway is operating. It is planned that she will take
centre-stage at the PMMM at Norden when that is fully open in 2007.
Our thanks go out not only to Graham Feldwick for securing Secundus, but
also Willie Bath and all at Herston Works, and especially to John Kellaway,
Stan Hoey & Mike Baker at Corfe Castle Museum for enabling us to turn a
dream into a reality.
This is just one of the many recent activities of the PMMM Group. For
further details please contact our Administrator, Mrs Lesley Feldwick, at
22A Ropers Lane, Wareham, Dorset BH20 4QT or by email:
for more information please see
the PMMMG homepage by clicking here
Secundus outside Herston Works at Swanage
Secundus left Birmingham at about 2.30 pm on Thursday, 22nd January,
2004, and got to Herston Works about 6.30 pm after a successful motorway journey.
The following selection of photos gives an insight into the preparation work and
the commitment of the volunteers to ensure the safe transport of the locomotive.
All photographs are copyright Andrew P.M. Wright.
Last Updated 26th January 2004
© Swanage Railway