The London & North Western Steam Locomotive Trust was recently the recipient of a historically significant piece of railway memorabilia.
A supporter of the Trust, who at the time of receipt was a young 16 year old lad living near Blackpool and who now resides in Australia has most generously donated the whistle once belonging to the last operational Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway class 4-6-0 in service. The engine in question was a Hughes design (one of the rebuild ‘Dreadnoughts’), BR no. 50455 of the class pictured below, and was withdrawn from Blackpool shed in 1951.
The donor was verified the providence of the item, also pictured below with an accompanying letter, a handbill for the last passenger train hauled by the loco (a Blackpool to York excursion) and even a piece of coal from the day! A photo of the engine on the day can be found in Barry Lane’s book ‘Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Locomotives’ published by Pendragon Press. This special excursion took place on sunny Sunday, 1st July 1951 in conjunction with the Stephenson and Manchester Locomotive Societies.
The L&Y whistle donated to the trust is to be auctioned at the Crewe Railwayana Auction at Crewe Heritage Centre on Saturday 26 April. It is expected that a free vintage bus service will be available from Crewe Railway Station on the day. We invite all our readers and supporters to attend and to spread the word.
We hope that the sale of this most important historic relic of a handsome and sadly long lost class will raise a good sum that will go towards the building of our LNWR George the Fifth!
While it’s been relatively quiet here on the announcement front, work has nonetheless continued on the smokebox door as this post will testify. The Trust has also been working to establish the foundation for future progress; a task that has occupied us considerably of late.
Our supplier, Keyte Smith has commenced stage three of the smokebox door. Here are a collection of photos taken at the commencement and during fabrication.
*The 20mm thick hinge plate has been pressed to follow the contours of the outer door – it only took 30 tons! It is now being prepped for welding.
*The hinge tube has been made from solid bar. This has had the hole put through it and is now away having the bush seats bored.
*The outer door profile has been marked out and the holes for the plug welds drilled in it.
*The handle has been bent up. This was made from a piece of profiled plate, 20mm thick, and was bent hot over a former. It has been trimmed to size and welded onto the base plate. The base pate was pressed to follow the curvature of the door prior to welding. The handle is also set at an angle to the base (6 degrees) so it projects true to the smokebox front when installed, as per original design.
*The bosses are all turned ready for fitting.
*The next few stages are to trim most of the excess from rim of the outer door, weld in the hinge plate and fit the inner profile.
We of course are immensely thankful for the continued support of our supporters. We kindly ask you to spread the word in whatever manner possible.