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The volunteer run museum Rocks by Rail is currently raising funds to purchase the last steam locomotive to haul ironstone in Rutland. Just over 50 years ago the steam locomotive named STAMFORD worked its final shift at Pilton Ironstone Quarry in June 1969 when the quarry finally closed. Initially purchased and preserved at the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex the loco is now back in its old county on loan and on public display at the Museum situated near Cottesmore in Rutland. The owners have now agreed to sell this historic locomotive and the museum has launched a campaign to raise funds to retain the locomotive within Rutland and to conserve it as a museum exhibit on public display. Built by the Avonside Engine Company in Bristol in 1927 STAMFORD is one of only a very few steam locomotives that worked in Rutland’s ironstone quarries to survive into preservation.

Steam loco STAMFORD leaves the exchange sidings en route to Pilton Ironstone Quarry with empty wagons a few months before quarry closure in 1969  . Photo Courtesy : Roger Hardingham

At their January meeting councillors of the Cottesmore Parish Council resolved to provide a £500 Community grant towards the locomotives purchase, thus helping to boost the fund and maintain momentum of the museum’s Stamford Loco Appeal towards the ultimate objective of purchase and retaining the loco within its home county.

Parish Council Chairman, Mr Chris Donovan, said :

The ironstone workings are an important part of Rutland’s local history and we are pleased to contribute to the campaign fund to retain the ‘Stamford’ engine in its original home county.

Mr David Atkinson, Chair of the Museum’s Trustees commented:

We are very grateful to receive the support of the Parish Council to help us with this unique project. We are making good and steady progress with the Appeal but there is still some way to go before we can secure the STAMFORD steam locomotive for the volunteer run museum, which is a registered educational charity. The museum would be pleased to receive any other donations, large or small, which would enable us to ensure that this historic 94-year-old steam locomotive can be conserved and stay on public display within the County.

The Museum would welcome any assistance and donations in the furtherance of this project. Any donations by way of cheques should marked on rear “Stamford Loco Appeal” and be made out to Rutland Railway Museum and sent to:

Mr A Salmon, RbR Treasurer, 4 Main Street, Stanford on Soar, Loughborough  LE12 5PY

For donors willing to donate as Gift Aid there is an RbR Gift Aid Form which is available via email from the Curator         email:

For donors wanting to make their gift by bank transfer please contact the Treasurer for these details on email

Rocks by Rail – The Living Ironstone Museum, Cottesmore Iron Ore Mines Sidings, Ashwell Road, Cottesmore, Rutland LE15 7FF Tel: 01572 868415    

Rocks by Rail is the trading name of Rutland Railway Museum –     Registered Charity No 1115462