During the years 1852 and 1853 twelve fine engines were delivered to the railway company by Messrs. R. and W. Hawthorn, which became known as the “Large Hawthorns.” They received the company’s Nos. 203 to 214. In external appearance, as can be seen from the illustration here given. Fig. 18, which shows No. 203, they greatly resembled the No. 51 class, but were of larger dimensions throughout. Nos. 203, 213 and 214 were domeless, as shown in the accompanying llustration, while others had domes of the shape shown in preceding drawings of Hawthorn
Leading dimensions of these twelve locomotives were as follows: diameter of driving wheels 6-ft. 6-in., and of leading and trailing wheels 4-ft.; wheelbase: leading to driving wheels 7-ft. 9-in., driving to trailing wheels 7-ft. 3-in., total 15-ft.; cylinders 16-in, diameter with 22-in. stroke; steam ports 14-in. by 1 1/2-in.; exhaust ports 14-in. by 3 1/2-in. ; diameter of blast pipe 4 3/4-in. ; boiler barrel, consisting of |-in. plates, length 10-ft., diameter 4-ft., containing 171 tubes each 10-ft. 5-in. in length, with an outside diameter of 2-in.; firebox casing 5-ft. 1 1/4-in. long and 4-ft. wide ; inside firebox, which was provided with a transverse midfeather, 4-ft. 6-in. long and 3-ft. 5-in. wide ; heating surface : firebox 114 sq. ft., tubes 874-4 sq. ft., total 988-4 sq. ft. ; grate area 13-64 sq. ft. The total weight of each engine of the class in full working order was 27 tons 16 cwt., and the capacity of the water tank in the tender was 1,500 gallons.
A Brush with Death
No. 210 of this class subsequently earned considerable distinction on one memorable occasion by charging right through a M.S. & L.R. goods train on the dangerous level crossing just south of Retford Station, thus carrying the “Flying Scotsman” of the period safely through an obstacle which it could not avoid. Mr. Michael Reynolds describes this incident thus: “The down Scotch express was going down Retford bank, signals all clear, when Oliver Hindley saw a train going east from Sheffield to Lincoln, which would meet him on the level crossing. He could not stop, and with that clear mind which is so marked in Englishmen in time of danger, he put on full steam, and sent Mr. Sturrock’s beautiful express engine clean through the goods train, scattering the trucks like match splinters, and carrying all safe. When asked about the matter Hindley said he could not keep clear, so he would clear away his obstruction. There is no doubt that, had he hesitated or feared, many lives would have been sacrificed. No. 210 engine carried the dents and scars like an old warrior, and looked handsomer than ever for this brush with the enemy of express trains.”