Sir Haydn Appeal

When a locomotive’s boiler ticket comes to an end, it is either laid up in an overhaul queue or within a matter of weeks the overhaul commences and a quick return to steam happens. This, of course, depends on two factors; condition of the locomotive and the key factor, what funds are available.

One such locomotive, which fundraising is well under way for its major overhaul, comes from the railways that kicked off the preservation movement in a big way, over sixty years ago. I am of course talking about the Talyllyn Railway’s current roving ambassador, ‘Sir Haydn’.

Currently the locomotive is mid way through a country wide tour of railways and museums. Having already been too both of the Great Central Railway’s, this weekend sees it pull up at Tyesley’s Open Weekend. Taking a star billing alongside the likes of ‘Duchess of Sutherland’ & ‘Nunney Castle’. The appearance of No. 3 at this event is being sponsored by Heritage Painting.

Sir Haydn is a narrow gauge steam locomotive, built by Hughes’s Locomotive & Tramway Engine Works of the Falcon Works, Loughborough in 1878. It operated on the Corris Railway in Wales, until closure in 1948, and since 1951 has operated on the nearby Talyllyn Railway. It has carried the operating number 3 under four successive owners.

Sir Haydn, along with all the steam engines on the Talyllyn Railway and the diesel engine Midlander, appeared many times in The Railway Series on the Skarloey Railway, in which it formed the basis for the character Sir Handel. In the 1980s, the Talyllyn Railway repainted Sir Haydn to represent Sir HandelChristopher Awdry wrote this into the 1985 book Great Little Engines, explaining that Sir Handel was visiting the line to help out. An incident in which Sir Haydn ran into a tree branch and was given a bandage and eyepatch was turned into a story in the book, with almost no alteration from the real event.

Currently there are several ways in which you can contribute to the overhaul fund. Nick Harling, of Traction Art fame, has created a wonderful painting of Sir Haydn in action, with half the profits going towards the fund. Take a look at the image below this blog post, then go and order your own from this link;

You can also donate to The Sir Haydn Appeal by downloading a Donation Form here.

Please then return the complete form addressed to The Sir Haydn Appeal, Talyllyn Holdings Limited, Wharf Station, Tywyn, Gwynedd, LL36 9EY

Text Donation

To Donate £10: Text ‘SIRH03 £10’ to 70070

To Donate £5: Text ‘SIRH03 £5’ to 70070

To Donate £2: Text ‘SIRH03 £2’ to 70070

Texts are charged at your mobile phone operator’s standard rate. The Appeal will receive 100% of your donation. You must be 16 or over and please ask the bill payer’s permission. For full terms and conditions and more information, please visit


Any updates on the Appeal will be made on the Talyllyn Railway website and also No.3 Sir Haydn’s social network sites:

Twitter – @No3SirHaydn 

Facebook – No.3 Sir Haydn


R Jackson, UKHH Editor