YOUR feature The Past in Numbers (Nostalgia, May 16) states that 1843 was the year in which Lowca Engineering of Whitehaven first produced railway locomotives.

Not exactly, because although the first locos did appear in that year, the company then was known as Tulk, Ley & Co.

Engines were built for local railway companies such as the Maryport & Carlisle, as well as many further afield within Britain & Europe.

In 1857, Tulk & Ley were taken over by Fletcher, Jennings & Co. who, as well as carrying on producing railway engines, also made other heavy engineering products for the local iron and steel industry and railway companies.

As well as appearing in fictionalised form in Thomas and Friends, several Fletcher Jennings engines still operate in various gauges on a number of preserved railways, including the famous Bluebell Line, but the business which had eventually become a limited company called the Lowca Engineering Company Ltd, and subsequently New Lowca Engineering Company Ltd, suffered a fire at its premises in 1912 which led to its final closure some years later, more than 200 railway locomotives having been produced.

John Graham