Monday, July 28, 2014


In 1901 Manning Wardle of Leeds built an 0-6-2ST locomotive for the Pentewan Railway in Cornwall. The locomotive, named "Canopus" arrived in December of 1901 and was immediately put to work hauling china clay along the railway. The railway didn't usually carry passengers although during the summer it was noted for the annual Sunday School Tea Treat Trains when the churches and chapels around the area hired the railway for the afternoon and conveyed their scholars, family and teachers to the coast at Pentewan. Canopus continued to work the line until it was abandoned in 1918. Canopus was eventually sold for scrap in 1924, but not before working as RAF loco No.7 at RAF Manston apparently on the construction of two underground hangers.

After a bit of searching I've managed to find just two photos of Canopus; one clearly showing her in use by the RAF and the earlier photo which I'm guessing was taken on a Sunday showing one of the church outings.

By this point you might be wondering why I'm suddenly blogging about a locomotive built for a small Cornish railway which no longer exists. Well, Canopus will be the second OO9 steam locomotive kit I'm going to attempt to build. The kit is from Backwoods Minatures, and from a brief look at the parts it seems as if it is a really well thought out kit that even I should be able to assemble. It will certainly be more difficult than the Brian Madge Quarry Hunslet kit I recently built as I have to build the full chassis rather than building a model around a pre-assembled motor bogie.

In a similar way to the naming of the Quarry Hunslet, I'm not intending to build a replica of Canopus rather, another loco to the same design, with a sensible backstory explaining how it ended up in the bottom left hand corner of Yorkshire. Even though I 'm not building a replica of Canopus, I'd be interested in any other photos, drawings, or livery details that people might have as they can only aid in construction of the kit, which will of course be the topic of quite a few future blog posts.


  1. If you manage to do as good a job on this as you did on the others then it will be a beauty.

    1. Well, I'm fairly confident I can put the body together so it should look great. I'm not so confident about the chassis though so how well it will move is an entirely different question -- mind you the Quarry Hunslet doesn't move perfectly so at least there will be some level of consistency!

  2. It's a lovely prototype and I am confident you will make a lovely job.

  3. She's a splendid little engine. I away developments with interest.