Terrier's return: engine returns to island after 85-year absence

The terrier locomotive Knowle is taken of the Isle of Wight ferry
Knowle arrives on the island after an 85-year absebce Credit: ITV News Meridian

A little locomotive has returned to the Isle of Wight after an 85-year absence.

Knowle, an A1 Terrier, was built in Brighton in 1880 and was in service all along the south coast from Hayling Island to the Kent & East Sussex railway, where it first saw service in 1940 and pulled the final passenger train when the line closed.

Before being rescued and returned to Tenterden, where the KESR is now a heritage line, it was sold in 1963 to become an exhibit at Butlins Minehead.

Having had a complete overhaul, the KESR has loaned the engine to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, in time for its 50th anniversary gala weekend.

The locomotive worked on the island between 1929 to 1936 where it was named‘Bembridge’ following the tradition of naming engine’s after the Island’s towns and villages.The engine would have been used on the Island’s quieter branch lines. These enginesgained their nickname of ‘Terriers’ due to their diminutive size, rapid acceleration and thecharacteristic ‘bark’ of their exhaust.