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Foleshill Railway: miscfr303

Peckett 0-4-0ST, Works No 2085, is seen standing in front of the locomotive shed on 8th April 1972

Peckett 0-4-0ST, Works No 2085, is seen standing in front of the locomotive shed on 8th April 1972. A shunters' pole can be seen across the top of the bufferbeam. Peckett and Sons began trading in 1864 at the Atlas Engine Works in Bristol, as Fox, Walker and Company, building four and six-coupled saddle tank engines for industrial use. They also built stationary engines and pioneered steam tramcars, the first being tested in Bristol in 1877. Much of their output was exported, mostly 0-6-0 locomotives but with some 0-4-0, 2-4-0 and 0-4-2 locomotives being in the mix. In 1878 they produced six 1 foot 6 inch gauge 2-4-2 trench engines for the Royal Engineers at Chatham using Henry Handyside's steep gradient apparatus. They also produced nine 0-6-0ST locomotives for the Somerset and Dorset Railway. Fox, Walker and Company were taken over by Thomas Peckett in 1880, becoming Peckett and Sons, Atlas Engine Works, Bristol.

The company acquired their limited liability some years later. By 1900, between them, the two companies had built over four hundred locomotives. The company continued producing a variety of small industrial and shunting engines at their factory located between Fishponds and Kingswood in Bristol. They became specialists in the field, with very precise specifications and standardisation of parts. The largest engine the company ever built was an 0-8-0 built in 1931 for the Christmas Island Phosphate Company. During the two World Wars, the works were especially busy, but by 1950 trade had largely dried up and, although in 1956 an attempt had been made to enter the diesel-mechanical market, the last steam engine was produced in 1958 and the company was taken over by Reed Crane & Hoist Co Ltd on 23 October 1961, which itself subsequently went into liquidation.

Robert Carr