Jun 02, 2008
It’s Coming Home?
02 June 08
Hull metal recycling firm Albert Draper and Sons Ltd are backing plans to bring a fully restored 1930’s steam locomotive that they saved from being scrapped almost 40 years ago, back to the city for summer.
In a long and eventful journey, the re-named ‘Alderman Albert Draper’, was restored to its former glory, before being cruelly torn away from the city that offered it a new lease of life. Now, Company Director Peter Draper is working closely with the organisation that restored the locomotive, to bring it ‘home’. Tom Tighe, Chairman and Engineer of the 5305 Locomotive Association takes up the story:
“In 1969, a lot of locomotives were being scrapped by British Rail, in fact 730 were sent to Drapers alone. Thankfully, Albert Draper, the owner at the time, had a bit of foresight and insisted that one should be saved for posterity and the restoration started in the May of that year with his support.”
The locomotive was housed at the Old Dairycoates Railway Depot and Tom, who was an engineering apprentice at the time, played a key role in a painstaking seven year bid to get it back to steam
However, British Rail were to sell off this land for redevelopment and, with no alternative local sites available, a journey began that saw the ‘Alderman Albert Draper’ spend 10 years at Binbrook in Lincolnshire, before being a hit with tourists on the Great Central Railway and national network.
Now, a possibility has arisen for the locomotive to make a guest appearance in Hull that will give local people the opportunity to link up to the picturesque Settle to Carlisle line during August. Tom explains:
“We’re talking to rail tour promoters who have expressed an interest in using the loco on the famous Settle to Carlisle route for selected weekends. While doing that we’re looking at the possibility of fitting in a journey that can start in Hull, moving through to Leeds, and on to Settle and Carlisle. This would occur 40 years since it was retired from BR service and see a fitting return.”
“This is what we’ve always wanted. The engine belongs to Drapers and we look after it - we never wanted to leave Hull. We’ve always had a great following here and would dearly love to get it working back in Yorkshire.
Peter Draper said:
“For obvious reasons, everyone at Drapers has strong historical and emotional ties with the loco and we’ll do everything we can to get such visits off the ground and make the trips a regular occurrence. I think this is something that goes beyond Drapers, it’s about doing a more for our heritage and the city in providing something that many people will appreciate and enjoy.”
Drapers is a family owned firm in its 85th year which has recently invested over half a million pounds into new equipment and site infrastructure at their two-acre site in Raven St, Hull as part of a long term strategy to create a recycling centre of excellence. Currently under the third generation of owner managers, the company has a UK wide reputation to recycle waste of any size from almost any industry. In the past this included steam trains, aeroplanes, trawlers and even an old Cold War submarine. Much of the material is exported to many different countries across Europe, and as far afield as China.