Here we have a lovely bit of history. A 1912 built 7 1/4" gauge 4-6-4 Baltic tank locomotive built by a Mr G Essex, well before the world had ever heard of the Flying Scotsman!
‘Little Bear’ came to us as a genuine ‘barn find’ model, with nobody having any idea of her history or previous existence. All the usual authorities on historic models drew a blank, and we resolved to searching through historic magazines to see if any light could be shed. The 1912 plates had a ring of authenticity to them, as the loco certainly has all the hallmarks of a model from that period. So whilst searching through contemporary Model Engineers, a friend (Thanks Jordan) emailed us the jackpot article. Amazingly it was a very thorough write up which revealed several very interesting details, not least of which was a full description of the model’s paint scheme which we think proves that she was still in her original, if extremely tired paint. This article, together with a few photos from 1912 have given us a superb reference point from which to ensure the historical accuracy of our restoration. Importantly however, the original meths fired water tube boiler in the article below is no more, having clearly been replaced with the extremely strongly constructed conventional fire tube one she currently wears.
Our full restoration can be followed in the album on our 'projects' page, and although you'll obviously have to wait for photos of the finished article, hopefully a browse through some of our other re-builds together with the Little Bear project album will give you an idea of the quality of finish and the sheer size of the loco it's self. She will come with two decent sized working injectors, mechanical lubrication directly into the steam pipe, footplate operated draincocks and a full 4 year hydraulic plus annual fresh steam certificate to make sure that this 104 year old girl is afforded the fresh lease of life she so richly deserves! Whilst our restoration is remaining as faithful to the original model as possible, with restoration work carried out upon the original materials rather than replacement with new wherever possible, we have tweaked the odd little bit here n there to improve performance and reliability,..... but we feel that we have walked the conservation/restoration/replication line sympathetically and hopefully intelligently enough to satisfy even the most fastidious of curators!
If you're interested in becoming Little Bear's next owner, then we would love to chat to you. Although not quite finished yet, she is fully available for you to put your name down before anyone else gets in there first!