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Furness Railway No. 3 Locomotive
Furness Railway No. 3 Locomotive was one of a set of four locomotives built by Bury, Curtis & Kennedy of Liverpool at the time when the Furness Railway was formed. Locomotives Nos. 1 & 2 were built in 1844, and Nos. 3 & 4 were built in 1846.
No. 3 was nicknamed "Old Coppernob" because of the domed shape of its copper firebox, which was characteristic of Bury engines. It is described on the back of this old postcard as follows:
Each wheel on the engine had 12 spokes. The tender wheels were 3 ft. 1.5 in. dia. and had 10 spokes.
The selection of Bury locomotives indirectly led to the appointment of James Ramsden as Furness Railway Locomotive Superintendent in January 1846. He had been apprenticed at Bury, and then worked with Bury engines on the London and Birmingham Railway. He later became Managing Director of the Furness Railway, and was Barrow's first mayor.
Furness Railway No. 3 hauled the first passenger train on the Furness Railway on the 24th August 1844. Following retirement in 1898, it was displayed in a glass case at Barrow Central Station. It was removed after a bomb fell on the station during the Second World War, destroying the glass case and puncturing the locomotive in various places. Old Coppernob is now on display at the National Railway Museum in York. It is still in working order, and ran on the Furness line in 1996 as part of the Furness Railway 150th anniversary celebrations.
The picture below shows part of a sheet of 50 stamps of the Coppernob locomotive, comprising 25 se-tenant pairs of 60c stamps from Nanumaga island in the Pacific islands of Tuvalu. These stamps were issued on 3rd April 1985, as part of a series called "Leaders of the World". The first stamp illustrates the technical / plan drawings, and the second stamp shows Coppernob at work. Further information about these surprisingly controversial stamps can be found on the Tuvalu Islands website. Tuvalu is an independent country within The Commonwealth, and is also known for its .tv internet top level domain code, which is widely used for media-related websites.