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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 worked the Central Section between Three Bridges and East Grinstead (along with two other members of the class) until 04 January 1964 and was withdrawn the following day.

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

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