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Bredonvale Products Ltd, Defford

BREDONVALE PRODUCTS LTD, DEFFORD

Grid Reference: SO 914424

This 2' 0" gauge railway was at a farm situated on the banks of the River Avon at Defford about quarter of a mile west of Defford Station.

The owner of the farm, Mr Messenger, a railway enthusiast, built the line and made a four-wheel Petrol Mechanical locomotive for use on it. John Tennent states that the home made locomotive was built in 1946 with the engine from a Gwynn (sic) car . Keith Farmer asked Mr Messenger for the date of the building of the locomotive and was advised that it was 'about 1950' and suggests the engine came from a 1924 built Gwynne car.

The railway tracks use concrete sleepers produced on site at a small works which traded under the name of Bredonvale Products Ltd. Rolling stock consisted of a hopper wagon and some four-wheel flat wagons.

In 1959, a more powerful four-wheel Ruston & Hornsby diesel locomotive was purchased from the Amalgamated Roadstone Co Ltd, Malvern Workshops. By the time of Keith Farmer's visit in May 1963 the line was out of use with the locomotives kept in a small shed.
After closure of the works the railway and locomotives were retained by Mr Messenger as a retirement hobby.

In about 1966/1967, after a long period out of use, the home made locomotive was renovated and both locomotives were used to haul timber. Later a rope-worked incline was added from the timber loading point to the River Avon to deliver building materials to the site of the construction of a boat house on the banks of the river. Some wagons were hired from Birmingham City Council to convey the materials.

Andrew Smith visited the site in the Summer of 1969 and found that the railway was not in use as Mr Messenger was ill, but he was able to inspect both locomotives in their shed. Mr Messenger died in 1970 and with assistance of Mr Tennent the railway and the Ruston locomotive were sold to Mr W. Morris of Bromyard, Herefordshire. The Bredonvale locomotive was also sold for preservation.>

The Eckington Wharf Circular Walk provides a view of the Yacht Club, albeit it from the other bank of the river. The DVD listed as a reference source has good coverage of the railway as it was in 1967 and is highly recommended.

LOCOMOTIVE FLEET:

4wDM Ruston & Hornsby 229655 of 1944 (from 11/1959 to 5/1970)

4wPM Bredonvale of 1946 (to 10/1970)

Both locomotives were sold for preservation, moving initially to Mr Morris of Bromyard, Herefordshire.

REF: John Tennent (Tennents Trains), The Last of the Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways (DVD)
REF: John Tennent (Tennents Trains), The Bredonvale Line, The Narrow Gauge Issue No.62
REF: K.C. Farmer, Letter to Industrial Railway Society 6/5/1963 (No.63/395)

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