Kerr Stuart built 58 “Sirdar” Class locomotives, with the last being Locomotive no.1158.
No.1158 was built in the early 1900’s as part of an order of 6 locomotives, placed in December 1909. The other 5 locomotives were built and sent to Mauritius in August 1915 leaving no.1158 in the Stoke on Trent works.
On 26th March 1917, an order was place by the Home Grown Timber Committee for a 2ft gauge “Sirdar” locomotive to work on the reopened Kerry Tramway. No.1158 was the Last Sirdar Available. No.1158 was built as 75cm gauge with 200 gallon tanks, so some alterations were needed.
Conversion to 2ft gauge, Installation of a copper firebox and brass tubes and a coat of grey paint. These alterations were carried out quickly and was delivered to Kerry by rail on the 14th April 1917. The locomotive worked on the tramway in Mid Wales, transporting timber for pit props and trench props from the woods to the saw mill and then to the transhipments yard outside of Kerry. This is where the timber was then loaded on top standard gauge wagons.
Following the rundown of the operations at Kerry, The locomotive was sold. It was bought by the Oakeley Quarry at Blaenau Ffestiniog and was on site by December 1925. The Oakeley Quarry records give more about the engines specifications, stating that it weighed 5 ½ tonnes and 2’0” Diameter wheels with cyclinders of 10 ½” x 6”. Whilst at Oakeley Quarry the locomotive adopted the name DIANA which was painted on the sides of the tanks. No details are found of the origin of this name.
In late 1932, Diana’s Boiler was sent away to the makers and returned in October the following year with a new shell, smokebox , tube plate and tubes. Diana was then put to work in the November 1933.
Diana was the second engine to be returned to steam in our workshop being completed during 2015