By David Rowbotham


She started life as a normal rebuild of a meths fired Roundhouse Lady Anne back in 2006, then the opportunity arose to acquire a Russell body etch and plans for a more ambitious rebuild began.

I’ve always liked the brutal rugged appearance of the Welsh Highland Hunslet Russell in its cut down condition and so cardboard mock ups of the bodywork around the Lady Anne pot boiler and chassis were developed.

Cardboard bodywork

By early 2009 the bodywork was slowly progressing as a back burner project while thoughts were turned to building a new, bigger meths burner and tank. This development held things up and it was a chance discussion with Dave and Paul of ELR Engineering at Llanfair in 2010 that led to the decision to go for a coal fired boiler instead.

In the spring of 2011 I delivered the running chassis and bodywork and various loose components for Russell to the ELR team at Hampton Loade and left it with them for the summer and Russell was duly reconstructed around a new coal fired boiler. The bodywork received a coat of two pack LNER green applied by Mike Darby of Chuffed2Bits. Lining and lettering was subsequently carried out by Matt Acton of Berry Hill Works with works and nameplates supplied by Narrow Planet.

Access to the controls is via a two piece lift off cab back and although it can run with the full height cab back on, finger reach to the regulator is rather restricted, as is access to all the cab controls with it’s lowered (and fixed) roof so it usually runs with just the lower half in place.

One of these days I shall get around to fitting lamp irons and although I had considered fitting brakepipes, I do think they can get in the way of the somewhat dirty, gritty operation of a coal fired live steamer.

Now, I seem to have an old pot boiler, chassis frames and meths burner from an old Roundhouse Lady Anne left over from the rebuild. I wonder what I can do with those…………………….

David Rowbotham