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Steam waggon in return to Shrewsbury rally

By Lucy Todman | Shrewsbury entertainment | Published:

After nearly 86 years, Sentinel waggon 8843 is coming home to familiar territory as she travels up by her own steam from Bath, to this year’s Shrewsbury Steam Rally.

The liveried waggon

A journey undertaken several times in the last 40 years, however this year’s appearance will be extra special, returning to Shropshire in her original 1933 livery of HAL Price of Dawley.

Back in 1933, the waggon would have been a familiar sight around the Dawley and Shrewsbury area, delivering coal to the Sentinel Waggon Works Ltd, Shrewsbury.

8843 was originally supplied with a three-way tipping trailer which was remembered vividly by locals.

The waggon partially renovated

The trailer unfortunately has not survived with the waggon, probably due to being returned to the works after only one month of use. The waggon ended its working life in the 1940s at HV Bowen of Dwyrhiew Mill, near Newtown, Wales, where the waggon delivered stone and aggregate.

The derelict waggon was later purchased in 1977 by John and Vince Goold of Camerton, Bath, aided by the late Norman and his son Andrew Wheeler of Ludlow.

Lacking some essential parts to return the waggon back to a three-way tipper, the Goold Brothers decided to convert it to Timber Tractor. The waggon was extremely useful around the work’s yard and was often seen at steam rallies in the southwest, working the saw benches.

By 2004 a chance rediscovery of the original tipping sub-frame on the river banks of the Bowen’s yard, inspired a new generation of steam enthusiasts – John and Carol Goold’s five children; Justin, Dawn, Nicola, Grant and Gary Goold, who set about returning the Timber Tractor back to a three-way tipping waggon.

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HV Bowen standing next to the derelict waggon in his yard

The waggon was rallied for a further 14 years in its distinguishable brown Cam Valley Timber Haulage livery, until in 2018, the decision was made to return the waggon back to its 1933 specifications, constantly referring to original Sentinel Waggon Work’s technical drawings, digitally archived by the Sentinel Drivers’ Club.

This historic decision included striping the waggon back to its chassis, a complete rebuild of the cab, returning it to its original colour, which was a dark blue and more importantly, reinstating the HAL Price livery - looking almost identical to its debut, when it first rolled out of the Sentinel Waggon Works in 1933. The Goold family completed the restoration in June of this year.

The family are looking forward to revisiting iconic locations, which will include the Sentinel Waggon Works in Shrewsbury and the Dawley area, with the hope of igniting nostalgic memories for the Shropshire locals.

The rally takes place at Onslow Park on the outskirts of Shrewsbury on the August bank holiday.

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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