Steam engine rolls back into hometown

A steam engine used in the Harborough area decades ago made a return visit
A steam engine used in the Harborough area decades ago made a return visit

A steam roller which was used in the Harborough area for almost 40 years made a brief return shortly after Easter when it drove back through the town following a vintage festival in Quorn, near Loughborough.

The 1925-built Marshall S Type engine was used firstly by Harborough Rural District Council and later by Leicestershire County Council until 1962, when it was sold.

The engine was bought by Tom Burton, who drove her on the roads locally and attended local steam rallies.

When he died in 1972, the engine was sold to well-known engine restorer and model engineer Len Crane from Wolverhampton who restored her to pristine condition.

The engine also gained her name ‘Jane’ after his wife and was presented to her for her 50th birthday in 1990. Jane was eventually sold in 2002 to Roger Mills, a friend of Len Crane, before being bought by Brian Wainwright and family in 2015.

Earlier this year, the Great Central Railway contacted the Wainwright family to ask if the engine could attend the Easter Vintage Festival at Quorn and Woodhouse Station where for the first time in more than 50 years she was joined by another Marshall S Type 10 ton roller called Thistledown. After the Easter event the engine was driven the 30 miles from Quorn to Harborough which took just over eight hours, including a lunch stop.