B.E.V

No.5   B.E.V.      The oldest locomotive in the Steeple Grange fleet, this is a battery-electric locomotive, but of completely different appearance from all others at the railway. It was built by British Electric Vehicles Ltd of Southport, Lancashire, works number 551, and delivered in October 1924 to the Gyrnos Tin Plate Co (1921) Ltd, for use on the internal railway at their works in Lower Cwmtwrch, Glamorgan. By the late 1960s it was lying unused eight miles down the valley at the tin plate works of John Player & Son (1964) Ltd, Clydach-on-Tawe, near Swansea. They sold it for preservation to a Mr M Jacob, one of the partners in Narrow Gauge Enterprises, who were setting up a narrow-gauge museum in North Wales.  The loco moved to the works of narrow-gauge equipment dealer Alan Keef in Herefordshire in September 1975 en route to the museum’s initial base at Pen-yr-Orsedd Quarry near Caernarfon in July 1976, then transferred to the museum’s permanent base at Blaenau Ffestiniog, known as Gloddfa Ganol, soon afterwards.  Gloddfa Ganol closed down in 1997 and the collection of locomotives was auctioned in February 1998.  B.E.V., which was the only 18-inch gauge loco in the collection, was bought by an S.G.L.R. member and arrived in Derbyshire on 19 February.   Although this particular loco has no local connections, it is interesting to note that B.E.V. locomotives were used underground at the Mill Close lead mine, just six miles away from Steeple Grange.   The loco now belongs to two members and is currently off-site and dismantled.  It is hoped that it can be cosmetically restored in time for its centenary; it is not likely to be a runner again as many components are missing.