Festiniog & Blaenau Railway locomotives. MM7.
This line which was narrow-gauge (2') from its opening in 1868 until regauged to standard-gauge in 1883 (on the same track-bed, which must have involved it in some fearsome curves);this line had two locomotives, "NIPPER" and "SCORCHER", both Manning, Wardle 0-4-2Ts, and for a very long time nothing appeared to be known about them. Two photos, and only two, were known to exist and these have been published from time to time especially by Boyd in his books on the railways in that part of the world. I am also informed that Real Photographs Ltd., of 69 Stanley Road, Broadstairs, Kent, CT10 18L publish them, the numbers being 4885 and 17905.
Recently, two more photos have been discovered in the National Museum of Wales and these have been published in Dr. Prideaux' recent book "The Welsh Narrow-Gauge Railway". There is a magnificent double-page spread on pp. 24-25 and another photo on p.26.
Unfortunately, dimensions were lacking although Colin Binnie, with his usual efficiency, produced an excellent drawing based on what knowledge he could gather, plus that afforded by a partial drawing of a similar loco intended (but never built) for the Festiniog Rly - they went in for "Little Wonder" instead! No doubt copies of Colin's drawing are available but just in case this is no longer the case we produce with this issue copies of another drawing, unknown until now, but which has just come to light. This is an outline drawing dated 3.11.1883 and done to 1/2" scale (this information appears on the tracing but not on the Xerox copy) so it was presumably made at the time when the line was being re-gauged and the narrow-gauge equipment being got rid of. It is hoped that this drawing will be of assistance to any intending modeller of this line; and should anyone have further information that he would like to share with the rest of us, I will be glad to publish it.