BRITAIN’S newest steam engine has been unveiled – and it has strong Cornish connections.

The narrow gauge loco, which was launched at the Perrygrove Railway in Coleford, Gloucestershire on Friday, is named Mr Hallworth in honour of the late Tony Hallworth of St Mabyn.

Mr Hallworth was a hugely respected railwayman with close links to the Bodmin and Wenford Railway.

Several of his friends from the railway made the 170-mile trip to the Forest of Dean to see the nameplate revealed.

David Nelson-Brown, the owner of Perrygrove, has a long association with the Bodmin and Wenford and wanted to honour Mr Hallgrove, who died in 2019

He said: “I’m heavily involved in the Bodmin and Wenford Steam Railway in Cornwall. 

“I learnt pretty much what I know about railways from a few key people in the railway in Cornwall and, in particular there are a few key people but one stands out for me and many others.

“Our engine is dedicated to the memory of a late friend who nurtured a generation of people who are now looking after railways.”

Chris Hatton, who was among the Cornish contingent, told guests at the launch: “Tony Hallworth was an engineman of the finest calibre – it’s not me exaggerating when I say he was one of the foremost enginemen in this country.

“Tony is a character who remains inextricably weaved into the Bodmin and Wenford Railway – our workshop foreman called him his Cornish dad and that was the kind of relationship that we all had with him.

“He was popular with everyone and never remotely smug or arrogant or unwilling to share his immense skill. We all miss him hugely.”

Mr Hallworth’s wife, Vicky, was unable to make the journey to Gloucestershire but she will receive a replica of the engine’s nameplate.