Published: 13-08-2014 photo #21257 0 comments 0 votes
Photographed in Sheffield Park shed yard on 26 July 2014. See also pictures 4858 and 19993.
Completed at Ashford Works on 5 May 1905 and allocated new to Slades Green shed, remaining there for 5 years. Employed on North Kent services, and appearing in lined Brunswick green. From the autumn of 1915 this was changed to unlined green with unshaded yellow numerals on the tank sides.
After Grouping in 1923 renumbered A263 and painted in Southern Railway green livery with yellow lining from Ashford Works in December 1923. Renumbered 1263 by the summer of 1941, was working at Nine Elms with empty coaching stock.
As BR no. 31263 it changed to lined black, and BR altered the original bunker top sides from vertical to curving outwards, as seen here. It moved around to several different sheds before being withdrawn while at Three Bridges on 5 January 1964, together with sister locomotives 31518 and 31551, as the last 3 members of the class. The total mileage of 31263 was 1,641,825.
Purchased by the H Class Trust, the locomotive was first stored at Robertsbridge before moving in 1970 to the South Eastern Steam Centre at Ashford. It finally arrived at the Bluebell Railway on 25 January 1976.