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Looking for Lew?

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

  1. 8-10 Brass Cleaner

    8-10 Brass Cleaner Member

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    I know where he lives, would you like me to knock on his door and ask him what happened to them?. I shall be down that way tommorrow afternoon.
     
  2. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    If the remains were to be found after all this time, I'd suggest it would be far better to put them in the NRM next to their L&B coach. Why restore the original now that we have a perfectly good working replica?
     
  3. mikehartuk

    mikehartuk New Member

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    I would respectfully suggest the chances of loco 'Lew' still existing somewhere in South America likely equate to much the same probability as winning the lottery three weeks running!

    Nevertheless what happened to the loco once it left the L&B is, at least in my view, the big unanswered questions in the history of the UK narrow gage. Perhaps some form of research grant might be found to help finance someone to get down to what's inevitably going to be a time consuming investigation project? Perhaps NRM might have some ideas as to how and who? The answer, and even better some pictures, has got to be out there somewhere.
    Mike Hart
     
  4. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Got to be worth asking, let us know how you get on please!!
     
  5. Old Kent Biker

    Old Kent Biker Member

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    I did! - came away with a small fortune from Euromillions in three successive draws. Unfortunately, a VERY small fortune - a total of £23.70 I seem to recall :) so by that token, there may still be a bolt or two of Lew left ...
     
  6. 8-10 Brass Cleaner

    8-10 Brass Cleaner Member

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    It would be worth doing just to see the look on his face when I introduced myself......

    Sadly I think it is more than a little unlikely the photographs exist.
     
  7. Old Kent Biker

    Old Kent Biker Member

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    I wasn't around at the time of the -er- discussions, but there are vesiges still extant on t'internet.

    These links may give you a flavour of events: http://tinyurl.com/7nalp68 and http://tinyurl.com/77mp6wy
     
  8. Tobbes

    Tobbes New Member

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    Thanks for the heads up on Snailbeach. Pity, it seemed like an interesting system in its heyday.
     
  9. NGChrisW

    NGChrisW New Member

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    I visited Brazil on an organised tour in 2008, led by Sergio Matire. He was one of the members of the "Memoria Ferrovia Project" which spent about 4 years searching out extant steam locomotives in all corners of Brazil. This culminated in the publication of the book "Inventory of Steam Locomotives in Brazil" in 2006.
    This records and has photographs of some 400+ locomotives in every possible state, from operational to unidentified frames buried in undergrowth. By all accounts it was an extremely thorough and well researched exercise.

    Clearly the subject of Lew was discussed at some length during our trip, but the view expressed by Sergio was that although they accepted there was a possibility that an odd loco may have escaped their net, as they had researched and attempted to visit every Usina (and other locations) where there was a recorded history of the use of a railway system, the odds of Lew surviving and not being discovered during this exercise were not impossible but extremely remote.

    Of course, if she actually ended up in Argentina, who knows.....?

    Chris Webster
     
  10. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Part of the furniture

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    Chris,

    Nice to see you have finally taken the plunge and joined in!

    Adrian
     
  11. Anthony Coulls

    Anthony Coulls Well-Known Member

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    Oh the photos exist, it just turns out that it was a collection we already had...so nothing new sadly...
     
  12. TheEngineer

    TheEngineer Member

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    Thank you Chris for this very informative posting.
     
  13. GeoffS75

    GeoffS75 Member

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    An Argentinian Sergio Matire/Memoria Ferrovia Project is needed.
     
  14. Martin Coombs

    Martin Coombs New Member

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    Whilst I don't know of one single research project covering Argentina in the same way as that in Brazil, I think you will find that Argentine enthusiasts, and others such as the late Reg Carter of the SLS, have studied their industrial systems pretty thoroughly. Personally, i have never understood why there should be this recent suggestion that Lew might have ended up in Argentina. The SS Sabor went north-west up the coast after Pernambuco/Recife.

    Martin Coombs
     
  15. GeoffS75

    GeoffS75 Member

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    Thanks Martin.
     
  16. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    This a highly interesting subject, the idea that Lew may not be in Brazil could be a positive step as that would increase interest in other countries. What i personaly would like to see is a summary of all known facts regarding the shipment. Keep digging !
     
  17. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Sorry everybody but I really think this wildly speculative thing has become a bore!

    Bah! humbug

    Paul
     
  18. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    Some may be bored, and will no doubt stop reading this thread. I agree with the earlier post, quoted below, that the mystery of Lew would be a fascinating reseach topic regardless of whether any physical remains are found.

     
  19. Dumphrey

    Dumphrey New Member

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    I am quite glad that I re-opened this thread as several bits & pieces have come to light that had previously eluded me.
    I am sorry that you are not a fan, Paul but you must allow those of us who are as much interested in the history of our beloved corner of railway as much rope as others are in the preservation and operation of them.
    Mike Hart was quite right to describe Lew’s disappearance as “the big unanswered questions in the history of the UK narrow gauge”. I never considered it as anything else. If Lew were to be re-discovered then doubtless, someone with the right depth of pocket, or with the ear of those who have, might like to try to repatriate and rebuild but that’s not the point.
    Lew is an iconic loco because it was the only major survivor of the L&B disaster (at least in NG enthusiast’s terms) and because it is a MANNING WARDLE!! Manning Wardle’s output of NG locos was not as prolific as some of the other manufacturers and a large proportion were 3ft gauge contractor’s locos or similar. Of the smaller gauges there were relatively few and of these we only know of seven, yes 7, survivors, of which just two are currently in the UK:

    MW 1382/1897 “Jubilee 1897” (1’ 11½”) 0-4-0ST, NGRM, Tywyn
    MW 1877/1915 “Chevalier” (2' 6") 0-6-2T (Flour Mill?)

    Of the others, there are two in Africa:
    MW 1583/1902 (“Midget” - not an original name) (2’ 0”) 0-4-0T, Gold Reef City Theme Pk., Johannesburg (ex-Cape Govt. Rlwy.)
    MW 1864/1915 “Nellie” (2' 6") 0-4-0ST, Sierra Leone Railway Museum.

    two in Mexico:
    MW 1156/1889 “Zapote” (2' 6") 0-6-0T (Mexican Min. Rlwy.)
    MW 1609/1903 (2' 6") 2-4-2T (Palmerejo & Mexican Goldfields Ltd. – absorbed Mexican Min. Rlwy.)
    -both plinthed in Chínipas de Almada, Chihuaha. (Photos on Google Earth)

    one in Paraguay:
    MW 1901/1916 “Don Carlos” (2' 6") 2-8-2WT, Puerto Casado Railway.
    News of the Puerto Casado Railway, Paraguay

    Both the Mexican & Paraguayan locations are very difficult to reach and, by any normal reasoning, the chance for re-habilitation of any of the last four is just about nil.

    If anyone has any further information, I would certainly like to hear.

    My initial purpose in re-opening this thread was not to foster wild tales of long lost beasts but to try to firm up the notion that Lew, following the closure of its mill in Brazil, had been sold to Argentina. Someone had reported that there was fairly good evidence to this belief and it was postulated that some form of search was to be organised. I don’t have any other details and I asked the question as to whether or not someone else did.
    There is little doubt that Lew did reach Brazil and did work there but for how long and where did it then go is just totally immersed in mystery, confusion, mis-relating of information and, in a few instances, what appear to be un-truths! I find the Eddie Edmundson story as related by Chris quite interesting but even that raises as many questions as it solves.
    For the historical record it would be highly satisfactory to solve the mystery or at least make some progress with it. Forget re-habilitation and restoration. It will almost certainly never happen; not in the length of time I have remaining on the planet! Let us just concentrate in trying to establish any of the sequence of events that happened to Lew in Brazil, the veracity of the story regarding the possible sale to Argentina and what happened next, please!!

    Ian
     
  20. Old Kent Biker

    Old Kent Biker Member

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    So - are you saying that the NRM has photos of LEW in Brazil, or elswhere in South America?
     

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