Built by Manning Wardle & Company in 1875 for the ill-fated Port William Tramway, Cornwall. The locomotive was acquired by Isaac Watt Boulton in 1878 when the Tramway folded.
Boulton hired GUNNER to a couple of contractors before it ended up at Candlebridge and in 1888. Merryweather did not purchase the locomotive from Boulton but paid an annual hire-fee. However, by the time the Garibaldi’s took control of the Tramway in 1897, Boulton had all but ceased trading and it appears the charges were simply overlooked, and GUNNER quietly slipped into Candlebridge ownership!
GUNNER maintained the Tramway operations until the outbreak of war in 1914 when its use became more sporadic.
The classic Manning Wardle saddle-tank; GUNNER is similar to the two engines built for the Ffestiniog & Blaenau Railway in 1868, albeit smaller in stature.
Although built with inherent design flaws, these have been addressed by Boot Lane Workshops, and GUNNER is believed to be the oldest surviving (and working) Manning Wardle in the UK?
Current status – in service