[Source: Nick Catford]

Contractor's locomotive 'Ciceter' is pictured here somewhere between Andoversford and Cirencester during construction of that section of the M&SWJR. The year is probably 1890. 'Ciceter' was built by Messrs. Manning, Wardle & Company, Leeds, in 1876 as works number 583. Manning, Wardle & Company are usually quoted simply as "Manning Wardle" and No. 583 was a member of their M Class 0-6-0ST locomotives. She is seen here with an open cab albeit with typical Manning Wardle 'weatherboard' protection but was later provided with something resembling a proper cab. Posing with the locomotive are her crew and what are obviously a number of officials plus others. 'Ciceter' was one of five locomotives employed on this contract by Messrs. Charles Braddock but in the dizzy world of Victorian contractors things were not that simple. The Andoversford - Cirencester contract ran from 1889 to 1891 but at some point during that period Braddock's contract was terminated and the work taken over by Messrs. J. D. Nowell & Sons. Previously Braddock had been part of Messrs. Braddock & Matthews and was to reappear in 1895 as part of Messrs. Nowell & Braddock who were responsible for, among other contracts, the Dingle extension of the Liverpool Overhead Railway. The business of forming, dissolving, forming contracting companies was very common, usually resulting from financial problems which in turn resulted from the intermittent nature of winning contracts. Locomotives for contracts could be acquired new by the contractor or second-hand, often being purchased for a specific contract before being resold. 'Ciceter' is known to have also been employed by, for example, Messrs. J. Wilson and Messrs. Walter, Scott & Middleton. The latter company was yet another which went through changes of title and as Newcastle-upon-Tyne based Walter, Scott & Co. employed 'Ciceter' on the Woodford Halse - Brackley section of the Great Central Railway's London Extension. This was Contract No. 5 of circa 1897. 'Ciceter' later found herself working for the Ministry of Munitions during the First World War and her subsequent history is not known.

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