The International Steam Pages

Those were the days... Gending Sugar Mill

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Gending was a small mill in the middle of nowhere with just four steam locomotives. Unfortunately, when the paper mill at Leces was built all the mills in the area contracted to supply it with bagasse and steam activity rapidly declined.

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My recollection of my first visit to Gending on 4th June 1978 is that all the locomotives were locked up in the shed as the season had yet to start. On 1st June 1979, I was luckier and found Jung 0-8-0T #1 in steam outside the shed.

Even better, was to find tiny 30HP Mallet OK 0-4-4-0T also ready to roll. Of course, in 1997 this was sent to the Frankfurter Feldbahn Museum in Germany -

I was back again on 29th July 1984 leading a tour group. My memory is fading, but judging from the pictures (including this one of OK 0-8-0T #2) all steam was stored and we got them pulled out of the shed with a diesel.

I used to try to keep tabs on any potential steam resurgence and on 21st August 1990, I was rewarded by finding OK 0-6-0T #2 back in action on some some kind of job creation scheme. Alas it was too expensive to continue and the locomotive ended up back in the shed where all three still were last time I visited in 2008.

Click here for the 'Those were the days' index page.

Rob Dickinson