On Tuesday 8th Sept whilst on route to Toddington for the GWR NG gala, Gertrude stopped for a photo opportunity at the site of Sydenham quarry, near Adderbury, for which she was built (now an industrial estate) the first visit since 1925.  The event was covered by the local newspaper – the Banbury Guardian – hopefully some more details of her work there and possibly a photograph or two might emerge from this brief visit. Also at Sydenham were representatives from the Adderbury Local History Group and Bloxham Museum, near Banbury.

We are attempting engage the local Banbury press and historical groups in trying to launch a ‘hunt for Gertrude’s relatives’ mission – not the locomotive this time but the living relatives of Gertrude, Doll and Winifred after whom the engines were named.
Then the low loader with Gertrude stopped at the garage at Chipping Norton which was owned by Neville Melhuish, the man who picked her up from Bilston, he died about 11 years ago but the business survives and the 1948 purchase he made was wheeled out alongside Gertrude – it was a 1908? Fowler Ploughing Engine – the pair looked fantastic together.

Gertrude was in the yard behind the garage between 1960 and at least late 1963 – then it went to an engineering base for the Welsh Highland Railway, at Kinnerley in Shropshire – where of course she passed to Peter Westmacott. Visit the history page for more details.

With thanks to Andrew Kennedy for the bulk of this content.

Newspaper article

© Banbury Guardian 2009