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Historic Yorkshire Train Back On The Tracks Following A 22-year Restoration
L- R: Qiuying Middleton, Stephen Middleton, Tim Illingworth, and Karen Illingworth
A historic locomotive has returned to service after more than 60-years following an extensive 22-year restoration project in honour of the former lord mayor of Bradford and renowned local architect, William Illingworth.

Illingworth, who designed Bradford’s Odeon cinema and worked on the 1936 Scar House Dam project - the largest in the world at the time and a site the locomotive transported goods to in the late 30s - was remembered in a naming ceremony on Friday 6th July.

The exclusive ceremony was held at Embsay Railway Station and featured a royal ride in Queen Victoria’s London and South Western Railway carriage, which was pulled by Illingworth, the locomotive that bears the former lord mayor’s name. The carriage has also featured on Channel 4’s Great Rail Restorations and the journey offered a unique experience to enjoy refreshments, while travelling through the Yorkshire countryside in royal splendour.

Commenting on the family history of the locomotive, Tim Illingworth, great grandson of William Illingworth and Director of Leeds-based integrated creative agency, Pure, said: “Being invited to the naming ceremony as a special guest was a proud moment for me and my family as over the years, we have been inspired by my great grandfather’s achievements. The train was originally named after him during the construction of Scar House Reservoir and the original nameplates were presented to him when the train was decommissioned.

“The plates have been passed down through the generations and now sit proudly on the outside of my house. It’s fantastic to see the train that was left for scrap up and running once again.”

Stephen Middleton, the restorer of Illingworth, added: “After decades of work we have made it to the naming ceremony, which is a pivotal moment for myself and the team involved in the restoration. There were trying times along the way but the finished product - a restored locomotive steeped in history - is really something to behold. We are now looking forward to using Illingworth to host a variety of events, something we are currently working on. Watch this space.”

Illingworth is the sole survivor of several locomotives from the Nidd Valley Railway.

Historic Yorkshire Train Back On The Tracks Following A 22-year Restoration, 9th July 2018, 10:02 AM