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Looking for Lew?

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by The Saggin' Dragon, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Just an idle thought; is anyone still actively looking for Lew (or news of its fate) - there are a few mentions on the web with nothing particularly factual beyond its removal from Barnstaple and shipping from Swansea ... (Example)
    Is there anything else to add?
     
  2. Marquis DeCarabas

    Marquis DeCarabas New Member

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    Yes - I have a look in the bottom of my gin glass occasionally! ;) :D
     
  3. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Well-Known Member

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    Every time I go to Brazil I remind my colleague there that there is a quest and give him details, usually it just ends up with us enjoying a 'stupidamente gelada' whilst watching the girls go by. One day we will organise something..
     
  4. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    I think we should phone the BBC, get Micheal Palin out there with a camera crew and have a proper look, would make a good documentary I think!

    I found some information on the web some time last year with additional information and things, can't remember what I did with it though!
     
  5. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaha! Found it! Ok here goes...

    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 SAO JOSE IN THE STATE OF ALAGOAS (just to the south of my State of PERBAMBUCO) and that THIS MILL WAS OWNED BY ABILIO LEAO DA CUNHA, WHICH MIGHT WELL ACOUNT FOR THE LATTERS 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 PERIOUD 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 towns 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!
     
  6. Martin Coombs

    Martin Coombs New Member

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    I paid a short visit to southern Brazil in 2000, whilst on my way to Patagonia. I did investigate one suggested site for 'Lew' though this turned out to be a wild goose chase as they seemed to have had only small Brookville diesels.

    More usefully, it was suggested at the time that ALC could have been Alencon Lima y Cia, who had been in the business of supplying railway equipment. I think the company still exists, though in road vehicle supply.

    Martin Coombs
     
  7. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    Maybe the company have some records?
     
  8. tractionenginedriver

    tractionenginedriver New Member

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    or somewhere closer to home?
     
  9. SillyBilly

    SillyBilly New Member

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    The reason Lyd was built is because it isn't worth looking for, it's just a nice little tale.
     
  10. 8-10 Brass Cleaner

    8-10 Brass Cleaner New Member

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    Wher closer to home were you thinking? Surrey, or the shed in Capel Bangor?
     
  11. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    Boooooo! They could of said that about Duke in Thomas the Tank Engine, but they didn't!
     
  12. RGCorris

    RGCorris New Member

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    Lew & Duke the Lost Engine

    Duke's story was loosely based on that of Fire Queen, which was sealed up in the shed at Dinorwic and more-or-less forgotten about. However the artist based his shed on that at Snailbeach (wash mouth out with Swarfega for mentioning that word) and the abandoned section of line on the Boot route of the Ratty. Throw in the two Corris locos and the book is a great one for playing "spot the railway". Old Granpuff himself was based on a loco from some obscure line whose name escapes me....

    As was said in an earlier Lew thread on this forum, if it still existed in South America the likelihood is that all the sheet metal will have rusted away and the rest would be too far gone to be of any use in a restoration. Unless, of course, it was oiled and covered in a tarpaulin and hidden away in a waterproof shed just waiting for some intrepid reverends to mount a search for it.......we can but dream.

    Richard
     
  13. talyllyn1

    talyllyn1 New Member

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    It's either in Cornwall or at the top of your stairs...................

















    Oh no, wrong type of "Lew"!
     
  14. tractionenginedriver

    tractionenginedriver New Member

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    Not in capel bangor shed, not sure about surrey would be nice though
     
  15. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Member Account Suspended

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    I think there's more chance of discovering a dean goods in China than Lew in south america :)
     
  16. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    I think there's more chance of discovering a dean goods in China than Lew in south america

    If you really want one I'm sure they'd soon knock a reverse engineered one together for you!
     
  17. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Well-Known Member

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    Having had a great deal to do with China over the years you really need to give them a physical sample for them to make a copy. For many months I was dealing with a project to make a car part from drawings and specifications. Months passed by with no progress. I went with a physical sample and the following week they had localised the part.
     
  18. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Member Account Suspended

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    I know exactly what you mean !

    Chinese are prefect at replicating from a template, and in bulk and with quality, but new technology off the blocks..errr

    Give them a dean goods they'll make you a thousand..
    Ask them for it you'll get bad jeans !?
     
  19. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    Soooo...if we sent them Lyd when she's finished?.....
     
  20. 45669

    45669 Member

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    Fire Queen forgotten about?! Not by me she wasn't : http://ronfisher.fotopic.net/p39641135.html !
     

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