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Locomotive Nutty returns for Welshpool railway’s celebrations

Nutty leaves Leighton Buzzard.
The only surviving narrow-gauge Sentinel steam locomotive from Stonehenge Works on the Leighton Buzzard Railway in Bedfordshire will be taking part in Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway’s celebration of 60 years of preservation.
The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum in Tywyn has announced that the locomotive, nicknamed Nutty, will remain on long-term loan at Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway.
The four-wheeled, vertical-boilered, chain-driven locomotive was one of three built in 1927 for London Brick Company at Peterborough.
Originally 2ft 11in gauge, it was named after “Nutty” Rowell, the driver/fitter who kept the locomotive in service for 30 years. In 1964, Nutty was donated to the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum Trust, re-gauged to 2ft 6in and loaned to Welshpool and Llanfair Railway where it worked on shunting duties for a time.
After withdrawal from service, Nutty was returned to Tywyn until 1991 when it was loaned to Whipsnade Zoo for restoration and eventual service on its railway. Dismantling took place after which work ceased.
In 1994, it was moved to Railworld in Peterborough and, two years later, to a nearby engineering works where re-assembly and cosmetic restoration was undertaken. It was loaned to the Leighton Buzzard Railway in 2012 where it was on public display until now.
Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway was keen to bring Nutty back and the museum trust has reached an agreement with both railways.
Keith Theobald, Narrow Gauge Railway Museum Trust chairman, said: “It is good to see this unique loco going to Welshpool, with which it has strong historical links and where it will gain a fresh audience.
“We are very grateful to our friends at the Leighton Buzzard Railway for looking after Nutty so well for the last 11 years.”
David Wood, Leighton Buzzard Railway Preservation Society chairman, said: ”It has been a privilege to give ‘Nutty’ a home for more than 10 years, creating extra interest for our visitors. We are glad to see it go now to an equally suitable location on another of Britain’s brilliant narrow-gauge railways.”
James Brett, Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway’s general manager, said: “It is great that we have been able to get Nutty back in Welshpool for this year’s big celebrations.
“We are grateful to the museum trust for agreeing to the loan and to the people at Leighton Buzzard who have worked very hard to make the physical move possible so quickly.”