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Charles Wytock

Bagnall No. 2819 - of 1945 is a 4-4-0T 2 ft (610 mm) gauge loco.

Built for the Tongaat Sugar Company of South Africa and entering service there in 1946. By 1963 it was in use as a stationary boiler. Some time later the loco was plinthed at the company offices at Maidstone but moved to Prospecton in around 1976 at the inception of the industrial estate there. It returned to Maidstone in 1981.

From 1976, until arrival in England, the loco carried Prospecton nameplates,

Purchased for preservation along with sister engine Sinembe around 1993, Both locos were at the WHR, Porthmadog in April 1994. being stored out of public view at Gelert's Farm, behind the NG15 tender. In 1997, both were moved to a private site at Middlesborough for restoration.

After extensive restoration work, the loco was sold and its new owner brought it to Woody Bay in 2014 to complete the restoration including the fitting of vacuum and steam brakes. The loco appeared in light steam at the September gala, and hauled its first passenger trains the following year during the May Gala Weekend.

By the way, the Charles Wytock nameplates are an unfortunate spelling error! The correct name is Charles Whytock - a Scottish emigrant to South Africa. He rose to become a senator there and was for many years a senior director of the Tongaat Sugar Company. All known references - apart from the locomotive nameplate - spell his surname "Whytock".

During the annual boiler inspection in December 2016, doubts arose over the plate thickness at the bottom of the outer firebox. A full boiler survey in April 2017 confirmed the plate, and a small area at the bottom centre of the boiler barrel, was thin, and identified a suspect weld repair on the firebox back plate. Stored on site out of use, in 2019 the loco was bought by a consortium of L&B members and is now undergoing the required repairs to enable the loco to operate on the L&B once more.

The consortium has renamed the loco Sir George Newnes.


Cylinders 10” x 15”
Weight empty 15 tons
Weight in working order 19 tons
Driving wheel diameter 2ft 6in
Fixed wheelbase 3ft 6in
Bogie wheelbase 4ft Oin
Coupling height 18"
Water capacity 450 gallons
Bunker 26 cu ft
Length over buffers 21ft Oin
Width 6ft 8in
Height 9ft lin
Boiler pressure 160psi
Tractive effort at 85% 68001b
Safety valves:  Ramsbottom
Firebox: Circular marine-type with concrete arch

Remarkably, six of the thirteen Tongaat 4-4-OTs survive: four in the UK including 2819's sister engine, Isibutu, and one in Texas (Simpola), while the sixth (Mono) still survives but is in poor condition in South Africa.

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