This beautifully presented engine was sent out to the Australian agents Langwill Bros and Davis of Melbourne in 1907. It is thought the engine spent the earlier part of its life in the state of Victoria, before ending its days in Tasmania. Fodens had a good export trade to the Antipodes. They often worked in the outback winching trees and hauling timber as well as belt work and other multifarious duties. After a hard life, No. 1308 ended its days in a children's playground before being rescued for preservation by the well respected steam engineer Eric Howe in Northern Tasmania.
In 2001 the engine was bought in a dismantled state by Willem Middlemiss and re patriated to these shores with all its export documentation. Much of the heavy restoration work including new boiler, flanged and riveted firebox by Israel Newton, smokebox, chimney and tender was carried out before passing to the current owner in 2007. In his ownership, the engine gained a new set of gears, new tyres, a re bore, new pistons, new main bearings, new little ends, wheel bearings, ash pan and rim brakes. A new half canopy was made to Foden drawings. Superbly finished in dark blue with correct Foden lining, the engine looks stunning.
Although termed a general purpose engine, "Earl of Dudley" shares many characteristics of a road locomotive. With the second gear ratio changed to that of top gear for a Foden three speed engine, this machine is superb on the road.
This is a rare opportunity to purchase a beautiful example of Victorian engineering elegance in as near to new condition as you will find.