Countess of Warwick – 1700 Wissington
|Build Date||April 1959|
|Operators||British Sugar Corporation|
||Contess of Warwick|
Countess of Warwick Class
Wissington was built in 1938 by Hudswell Clarke of Leeds for the newly formed British Sugar Corporation (BSC).
Wissington is a standard ‘Countess of Warwick’ design, which the BSC bought several including the sister loco at Wissington Hayle. The loco is relatively lightweight design well suited to the light trackwork of an agricultural railway.
Apart from a spell at the Spalding Sugar factory, Wissington remained at the BSC plant for virtually of all its working career. With the arrival of diesel shunters and a reduction in rail traffic, Wissington was relegated to being a spare. By the early 1970’s Wissington fell out of use but remained in storage. By 1978 Wissington had become the last steam locomotive in commercial ownership in East Anglia and had come to the attention of the M&GNJRS.
After an approach by Society member Chris Beckett, British Sugar Corporation donated Wissington to the M&GNJRS and in February 1978 it departed for a career in preservation at Sheringham. After a cosmetic restoration Wissington became known to generations of children who climbed onto her footplate whilst on static display in the bay platform at Sheringham.
In late 2010, the loco was partially reassembled and transferred to Weybourne workshops for further work by the volunteer team. After almost two more years of hard work and around £70,000, Wissington was ready to run. In July 2012 Wissington passed its ‘in steam’ insurance examination and successfully undertook a test run on the NNR.