The Wickham Trolleys are on a long-term loan from the Rail Trolley Trust.
They are a 3ft gauge Wickham Type 17A Trolley (Works No. 4091) and a Type 17A DsmT [Dismantled from a powered Trolley to an unpowered Trailer] (Works No. Unknown).
Works No. 4091. was one of a pair of Type 17A Trolleys of 3ft gauge, which were despatched from Wickham’s works in Ware, Hertfordshire to the North British Aluminium Co. Ltd, Fort William, Inverness-shire on 5th September 1946. This company and the Lochaber Power Co. constructed the Lochaber Works at Fort William. They were wholly owned subsidiaries of British Aluminium. The Wickham was originally fitted with a JAP 1323cc engine (No.DTZ/T 77854/S) and carried the running number W6/501.
Simultaneously with the arrival of a Type 27A Wickham (Works No.8849) in 1961 at Lochaber, both Works Nos.4091 & 4092 were dismantled and dumped off the track at Possil Park, where they remained until early in 1978.
Both were acquired in June 1978 by the late Rich Morris and stored for a period in an annexe to The Narrow Gauge Railway Centre at Gloddfa Ganol, Blaenau Festiniog, which housed a large collection of narrow gauge locos. Both cars then moved to the Moseley Industrial Tramway Museum in Stockport, in February 1991, from where Works No. 4091 was sold to John Craven of Walesby, Newark, Nottinghamshire, around the end of 1994.
Following John’s untimely death in 1995, it was returned to the Moseley collection in November 1995 and was then acquired in 1998 by John Seward of Birmingham with a view to restoration. Ill health, unfortunately, prevented John from completing the task, so the vehicle was then donated to the Statfold Barn Railway in 2012.
The Works Number of the Trailer (DsmT) is unknown and despite ongoing research, its identity may never be fully confirmed.
What is known is that it was a 3ft Gauge Type 17A Trolley and like Works No. 4091 it was donated by John Seward to the Statfold Barn Railway in 2012.
In April 2014, the Statfold Barn Railway donated both vehicles to The Rail Trolley Trust. They were subsequently moved to a private workshop in South Derbyshire, to undergo a complete structural rebuild and mechanical restoration funded by a benefactor keen to see the vehicles running again. Works No. 4091 has been fitted with the Deutz engine, previously carried by a standard gauge trolley, Wickham Works No. 7073, which is a longer-term restoration project for the Trust. As part of the loan agreement CPR will complete the replacement of the wooden bodywork on both vehicles.
This shows the sort of transformations the Trust can achieve. We have many interesting and unique vehicles to restore, but we can only do it, with donations from enthusiasts and the public.
So please consider donating to our Inaugural Fundraiser, which can be found here – https://www.facebook.com/donate/1352011801897958/