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'Lew'

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by robgolding96, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. robgolding96

    robgolding96 New Member

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    Hello all,

    Ive always been interested in the fate of various locos and was looking online for info on what happened to L&Bs 'Lew'.

    There is a fair amount of info on the L&B website, but i was just wondering how far anyone got in uncovering the mystery of the fate of this loco. Has anyone been to Brazil to find clues, and where did the trail go cold?

    I also read that there was once a magazine with a picture of the front with the title 'is this Lew?' Am i correct in thinking this?

    I love a good mystery!

    Cheers guys for any info that anyone comes up with! And sorry if this subject has been touched on before!

    With any luck Lews been some shed in Brazil somewhere for the last few decades!

    Rob
     
  2. Axe

    Axe New Member

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    Reports of various sightings have been received for many years. The last one came only earlier this year from someone suggesting that he had seen an old engine rusting away buried in vegetation in Brazil. But whether the engine was complete or partially dismantled, like all the other reported sightings of Manning Wardle steam locomotives received by the L&B, the sighting of the engine could not be confirmed, let alone being substantiated as being that of 'Lew'. I sense that the L&B does not now expect ‘Lew’ to materialise - time is no longer on our side.

    'Lew' was purchased by auction for use in Brazil. The letters "A.L.C." and "Pernambuco" were painted on the front of its side tanks immediately following the auction in 1936. It is known that the engine was loaded aboard the SS 'Sabor' at Swansea destined for the port of Recife in Brazil. But despite several rigorous efforts some years ago, its arrival at the port of Recife could not be confirmed nor could the final destination of ‘Lew’ be traced.

    Chris
     
  3. robgolding96

    robgolding96 New Member

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    Thanks Chris for the info!

    gotta keep believing!
     
  4. robgolding96

    robgolding96 New Member

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    Re: 'Lew' (and Lyd)

    Any plans for Lyd to visit Woody Bay when finished?

    Rob
     
  5. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Member

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    Re: 'Lew' (and Lyd)

    According to one of Paul Lewin's most recent posts on the L&B yahoo group, the first visit it will make will be to Launceston to thank the team there for the help they've received (even if it just sits on a low loader). Following that a trip to the L&B for a gala/special event will follow.

    First though, she needs to be finished! :)

    Chris
     
  6. robgolding96

    robgolding96 New Member

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    cant wait for that! Lyd on the L&B could be the ultimate photo charter!
     
  7. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    I am very interested in the Lew mystery...one of the best heritage railway mysteries in the world, and I for one believe she is still out there!

    Perhaps we could approach the BBC to get a documentary done on it? :-k
     
  8. ipod

    ipod New Member

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    Me too.... it would be nice to think that it still survives somewhere.
    At this point I can't help but think of a certain person who claimed to have taken photos of it in Brazil... but perhaps it's best we don't go there! 8-[
     
  9. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    :-k

    I have some news...I say news, its old news, maybe not even news...but I found it on a quick research online and its pretty interesting! A post by a gentleman in the area of the supposed mill:
    (I have highlighted interesting bits)

    "Here is my own contribution to the Search for Lew saga. In 1994 the British Embassy in Brasilia forwarded to me a letter from the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Association asking whether anyone could follow up some clues as to the whereabouts of Lew, since there was quite strong evidence that this locomotive was despatched to a sugar mill in north east Brazil. I imagine that it is well known that this Manning Wardle 2-6-2T was shipped from Swansea on 29 September 1936 aboard the SS Sabor and that its destination was Pernambuco (now called Recife - where I live). The only other fact known about this despatch is that she carried a shipping mark "ALC" painted upon her sides. You will also know that the Association sent a member called Patrick Lloyd on two trips to Brazil, in 1989 and 1991. Unfortunately, Patrick Lloyd, it seems, left the Association, and not on the best of terms, and it proved difficult to get him to give much information on what he had discovered in Brazil. However, it was possible to glean that there was a sugar mill called Usina São José in the State of Alagoas (just to the south of my State of Perbambuco) and that this mill was owned by Abilio Leão da Cunha, which might well account for the letters ALC painted on the side of the loco. Patrick Lloyd claimed to have visited this Usina, and to have found the remains of an engine shed and a short length of 600 mm railway track. He is also reported to have stated that LEW was at this mill for a short period in 1939, but was sold again, and eventually ended up at a wood mill in Argentina, where she may still exist. The Usina in Alagoas was said to be near the town of Atalaia.

    So I decided to investigate. I spent a morning at the public archive in Maceió (the port and capital of Alagoas State) and spoke extensively with the Director of the Archive (Noacir Medeiros de Santana) who is probably the foremost authority on the history of Usinas in the State - in fact I have his book on this history. And in the afternoon I drove out into the interior of the State to follow up the leads. This is what I discovered:

    i) There certainly was an Usina called São José near Maceió. Noacir's book describes it as an 'engenho' - smaller than an Usina. Noacir expressed surpries that such a small undertaking could afford (or need) a steam locomotive. He kindly offered to check his records at home, and later telephoned me to say that the São José had started up with the harvest of 1935/36, and that its last harvest was in 1940/41. He also recalled the name of Abilio Leaõ da Cunha as certainly someone connected with the Usina sugar business, although he was unsure whether he was associated with the São José engenho. Incidentally, the full name of the engenho was probably São José da Lagoa.

    ii) Noacir also told me that on closing down the São José bacame part of the Usina Ouricuri. It is pertinent to note, I think, that without this detail it would have been virtually impossible to find any relevant usina near Atalaia. Some old timers paying dominoes in public squares in the twons I passed through remembered the São José.

    iii) I visited the Ouricuri Usina - it is in fact not near Atalaia, but 15 km from Branca de Atalaia (another town) which is in turn 55 km by road from Maceió. Sadly the Usina closed down in 1992, but it must have been working when Patrick Lloyd came over to Brazil, and I can only assume that he must have visted this Usina. I was not allowed into the Usina, but I did meet an engineer who had worked for 12 years at this Usina, and he assured me that he had never seen any vestige of railway operation nor heard any discussion of railway transport.

    Well, I haven't taken the search much further, but I thought this might be of interest since, indeed, it is just possible that LEW did work on a sugar mill in north east Brazil.

    By the way, I have seen two Manning wardles, both in the south of Brazil, but the wheel configurations are different.

    Eddie Edmundson"

    The mystery deepens...is she really in Argentina now, not Brazil as we thought? Hmmmmmm....definetly BBC quality documenaty here! :-k
     
  10. SillyBilly

    SillyBilly New Member

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    Or perhaps its been majorly modified and could be classed as a 'Who Do You Think You Are?' episode where the loco finds out it's a Manning Wardle, and trackd down its roots in Devon. Quality YouTube material!
     
  11. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    Hi Rob -
    if you want to see an L&B-owned L&B loco in Devon - then join the 762 club to build a new Baldwin 2-4-2T 'Lyn'.
    Go to http://www.762club.com

    \:D/
     
  12. m&gn50

    m&gn50 New Member

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  13. meeee

    meeee Member

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    That engine is quite nicely proportioned....So nothing like an L&B engine really.
     
  14. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Extremely unlikely to be a Manning. Certain features (e.g. safety valves) suggest Hunslets but it could actually be built, as opposed to being designed, by anybody.

    PH

    P.S. I tend to agree with Meeee about the appearance of the L&B machines. Scrawny things (he says heading rapidly to Siberia!)
     
  15. Old Kent Biker

    Old Kent Biker Member

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    WHAT!!! You think LEW is in Siberia??? We've been looking in the wrong direction all these years :(

    Having been on the footplate of LYD last weekend, I'm afraid I have to disagree - I think they were fine locos - although by my signature, I must admit to a certain bias! :)
     
  16. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    Surely Lew is buried with the spitfires in Burma ....
     
  17. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Member

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    Its an odd one that, certain apsects make me think Bagnall, others andrew barclay, very very odd.
     
  18. taliesin1999

    taliesin1999 New Member

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    Believe this is Nasmyth Wilson 407/1891. Very nicely proportioned, just a hint of a County Donegal baltic?

    Peter Hayward
     
  19. cardinalfang

    cardinalfang New Member

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    Has quite a resemblance to the two Barclay tanks used on the Campbelltown and Machrihanish?
     
  20. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

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    Although Lew is probably gone forever, the Spitfire tale gives hope that there's still a chance, however small.

    I point those not in favour of Manning Wardle proportions towards Specsavers, Lyd is the most attractive thing to ever wear Southern livery.
     

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