Wallis and Steevens 7586, The Victory

Although ordered on 8th May 1918 Wallis and Steevens engine 7586 was only delivered by the Wallis crew on 2nd July 1919. She was a 5 ton oilbath wagon and had a long cab roof, motion covers of the Foden fashion and iron traction engine type wheels. She was fitted with a long body capable of taking a lift van for furniture hauling if need be, and on her smokebox she proudly bore the name “THE VICTORY”.

As the following day was market day in Petersfield, Wallis’ representatives were under instructions to exhibit their charge to the public. “THE VICTORY” drew a lot of interest, especially from rival firms’ drivers who added their comments to the proceedings!

Two rollers had been part exchanged for “THE VICTORY”, much to the disgust of some members of the Seward firm; these were Wallis and Steevens 2377, a 10 ton single, and 2819 “EMPRESS OF THE SOUTH” the overhead valve compound.

The wagon was not very popular with the drivers at Sewards. It was slow, noisy, and seemed underpowered, so consequently she was only used six or seven times, usually carting coal to one of the engines working away from home.

Bob Seward was driving her one day with Jack Stennings steering, taking a load of coal to a roller in Rowlands Castle. They were steaming along the A3 when a Sentinel raced past them at a high rate of knots. It pulled back on its correct side of the road, and the nearside front wheel caught a drain at the roadside. The result was that the Sentinel was pitched over onto its side and its load of margarine was spread all over the road. Bob stopped and checked that the crew were OK, which thankfully they were, then he and Jack helped recover some of the load and clear up what was beyond saving. This proved to be one of the last jobs that “THE VICTORY” did with Sewards, and several months later the wagon was laid up in the yard in Tilmore Petersfield, where it stayed long enough for the tubes to get pin holed.

In 1923 Nightingale Brickworks expressed an interest in buying “THE VICTORY”, so after being retubed, the Wallis was steamed away to Nightingales, all for the sum of £50. Nightingales used the wagon to deliver bricks for several years until replaced in 1931 by a six wheel Garrett undertype wagon. After standing idle for a while, the brickworks’ engineer, Bob Morson, modified the Wallis to drive the pug mill mixing the brick clay. Her boiler and motionwork were mounted on a concrete base, and power was taken to the mixer by a belt. Here she stayed until the brickworks was demolished in the late 1950’s. The engine’s name plate “THE VICTORY” was removed by Sewards before they sold her, and it was later put on Nelson Noyce’s Fowler tractor 11799 – where it is to this day.

Initial history based on information kindly supplied by Kevin Lockyer from his articles re. Sewards of Petersfield.

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