H Class 0-4-4T No 263

Class Introduced: 1904

Designer: Mr H Wainwright

Built: 1905 - Ashford Works, South Eastern & Chatham Railway (SE&CR)

Total Number Built: 66

Numbers Carried: 263, A263, 1263, 31263

British Railways (BR) Power Classification: 1P

Widespread closure of branches, coupled with the increasing progression of both dieselisation and electrification, quickly negated the need for pull-push fitted locomotives - No 31263, along with two other members of the class, worked the Central Section between Three Bridges and East Grinstead until 04 January 1964 and all were withdrawn the following day.

By this time the H Class Locomotive Trust had already been formed and funds were being raised to purchase the locomotive, though it wasn't until November that she was eventually relocated from Three Bridges to Robertsbridge, Kent for further storage.

A subsequent move to the former running shed at Ashford saw a complete boiler overhaul and a start to reinstating Mr Wainwright's ornate passenger livery, however, due to the limited scope for running her final move was forthcoming at the beginning of 1976.  The H Class had long been admired by the fledgling Nuthatch Line Preservation Society (NLPS) considering her historical connection to the area and was only too pleased to offer the trustees a permanent home.