In 1870, the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) was struggling to cope with its increasing share of the London suburban traffic, with a plethora of different locomotives designed by Craven. Refusing to compromise on standardisation, Craven resigned on January 31, 1870 to be replaced by William Stroudley.
Much of the line south of London was of poor quality and subject to challenging gradients and a locomotive with a lighter axle loading and shorter wheelbase than the existing fleet was urgently required. Stroudley’s answer was the light six-coupled tank design and so his iconic Terrier class of 0-6-0T was born.
Built in 1876 and entering traffic on February 16th, No.54 Waddon was allocated to New Cross working mainly across the East London Line until, on August 26, 1904, the locomotive was sold to the South Eastern & Chatham Railway to work on the Sheppey Light Railway.
Having been repainted into full Brunswick green and renumbered 751, the engine was sent to the New Romney Branch for testing, prior to moving to Sheerness on May 24, 1905. Such was the locomotive’s popularity on the island that 751 soon acquired the nickname “Little Tich” after Harry Relph, the toast of London music hall as the ‘Man of Kent’.
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